18 Things People Learned in 2018


This image is of the 18 people interviewed.

It’s December 31st and the clock strikes twelve. As the countdown hits zero, champagne is poured and toasts are made as people across the globe celebrate the New Year. The constant festivities and idea of a fresh start mask a recollection of the past year, but it’s always productive to look back to see how far you’ve come.

Over this past week, eighteen teenagers across Colorado reflected and shared their experiences with 2018, good or bad.  

Preslie Denton, a sophomore at Rocky Mountain High School, stated that she has struggled with constantly worrying about what others think of her. Denton’s biggest goal for the new year is to do her own thing since the opinions of others won’t impact her future.

Sixteen-year-old Karmen Rieger has a similar perspective on the year. She believes that you should just be yourself no matter what people think. “It’s okay to be different, don’t be embarrassed about your passions.”

“People are gonna start beef no matter what,” said Connor Flower, a student at Heritage High. “I need to decide whose opinions actually matter to me.”

Former high schooler, Sarah Neff, wants to work on cutting toxic people out of her life. “I think that it is okay to take those who have hurt you out of your life. If they have nothing positive to add, then it isn’t necessary to keep them around.”

A constant theme that was noted throughout these interviews was that people realize that life is too short to worry about the little things. They’ve learned to appreciate what they have and not take anything for granted.

Maddie Thien and Kayla Reynolds both agree that the little things in life matter the most. Thien mentioned that it’s the small moments that “shape you as a person.”

“I learned to live in the moment and be present more. I feel like everyone tells you how fast high school goes by, but it never seems true until you are a senior yourself. I think that being present and not being too caught up in the past or present is something that I’ve had to work on but it makes every moment so much more memorable,” acknowledged Reynolds.

Freshman Kate Maggard learned to be grateful for even the littlest things. “I have done a lot of traveling to less fortunate areas. I’ve seen villages where they didn’t have water or clothes or houses and it really opened my eyes to see what life is like for others.”

Olivia Stutzman, Hanna Hartzell, and Katie Smith reminded students to appreciate what they have before everything changes and to never take moments for granted.

“You need to really appreciate those in your life who are constantly supporting you, no matter how many mistakes you make,” added Hartzell.

Having supportive people in life is what makes the smallest moments big memories. However, it is also important to take time for yourself.

Sixteen-year-old, Kaitlin Walsh, added, “Sometimes it’s okay to be a little selfish and take time for yourself.”

A big aspect of self-care is learning how to make yourself happy. You can’t rely on someone else for your happiness, as mentioned by sophomores Savanna Kelly and Samantha Bemis.

“Over this year I’ve learned that it’s not worth trying to please someone who isn’t worth pleasing,” added sophomore Elise Smets.

Maddie Hadel, a student at Rocky Mountain High, learned that not everyone has to like her, and she’s okay with that.

“I used to feel like I have to make everyone like me so I could love myself more. I would feel pressured to do things that I didn’t necessarily want to do. In 2019, I’m gonna make it a goal to love myself no matter what anyone else thinks about me.”

Sophia Elmor wants to make it her goal to try and become more confident in her own skin. She learned that there is really no reason to feel self-conscious because everyone who could be judging you is thinking about how they appear as well.

On a different note, Emily Deegan wants to strive to be more connected with the world around her. She feels that humans are failing to be present with each other.

Sophomore Jake Rowe simply wants to work on being more positive. “There is so much to be happy about in life, and I want to work on seeing the bright side in situations.”

The beginning of a year is a time to take stock and reflect on your growth. These students are taking what they learned and hoping to bring it into their lives for the future.