My Year in Review: 2017

Hello world! Merry Christmas! (It’s still Christmas until January 7 this year according to the Catholic Liturgical Calendar.)

I write today about how my 2017 went and what I have planned for 2018. Honestly, 2017 was one of the toughest years I have had in my life. I tried new things, and learned more about myself than ever before in my life. I admit that I was not pleased with who I was at times. I realized how I have been affected by my past and how I can shape my future. I hope to always follow God and do His Will. I hope that I embrace who God calls me to be as part of His plan for me. I want to go over my year to show much I have learned and how I will continue to grow, love and serve others as Jesus did.

I lead a small group in Longhorn Awakening 62.17311327_2038886152919098_3989726756537140732_o This small group leadership taught me how to guide others through the Holy Spirit. I have always wanted to lead a small group at this retreat, but I never got the opportunity to do until then. I found how I share my life experiences can influence others. I also learned the diversity of gifts of the Holy Spirit presented in others’ personalities and lifestyles. I saw the strength of women and the vulnerableness of men. I learned how we all connect in order to create a wonderful Body of Christ. Through this leadership experience, I found Christ in others. I became more confident in who I am and who God calls me to be.

I learned more about Civil Engineering and did well in class. I have been slowly and little by little raising my GPA to a 3.55 as of right now.I am working hard and aiming for success. Through I am not doing it perfectly, I focus on the learning experience. I know how to analyze hydraulic systems, structures, and materials. It doesn’t matter to me if my grade might be a B in a class. The victory is that I learned something new, not the grade. God wants me to learn and build on my talents, so I use them to love and support others.

I also struggled this year with the hardest summer of my life. I had entered a time of depression where I only depended on others and served myself.  This summer I decided to take a class for my Architectural Studies minor and take up two jobs: one at the University Co-op and the other at the Catholic Center. This sounds like a lot, but it often wasn’t enough. The class was hard, but somewhat rewarding as I learned how to use Revit for modeling. It only lasted the first half of the summer, and I had not many other people in it. The Co-op job was a retail job where I have to serve customers by welcoming and  helping them buy items. DSCN7242editedI helped restock and organize the store’s merchandise. The store overstaffed and my schedule wasn’t helping me. I barely worked enough hours to maintain a good position with the company as a hard worker, and I had to quit due to a lack of available work shifts.  The Catholic Center job would’ve been perfect if it wasn’t so lonely or so few hours.  I cleaned the place for only 10 hours a week. I became dependent on my friends for my happiness. I even depended on someone who was far from where I was and not always available. Near the end of July, I had to leave both of my jobs to go home to Houston. My summer class had ended, and there wasn’t much for me there job-wise. I had lived day by day, waiting for the next big thing. This summer, I found out how to be present around those near me who needed me.  I did have some great times with my friends, including hiking and hanging out with concerts and food. I learned how to seize the day like Phineas and Ferb. This summer may have been a dark time, but I learned how to live in the light despite my darkness.





I tried to reclaim a part of myself, and found something new instead. I tried out for the Longhorn Band. I have always adored the marching band at UT, but I never tried out. I had marched in high school, but college band was so different.  I had not played my clarinet since high school. I retaught myself how to play clarinet.  I practiced nearly every day between April and August. I played my audition music multiple times. I barely made it to Band Week after re-doing my audition tape. I didn’t fare so well in Band Week, as I was anxious, and I had nowhere near the skill of the other clarinetists. I was not the best marcher, but I tried my best. I decided to join pep band to boost my playing expertise and confidence. I fell love with the high energy atmosphere, cheering on the volleyball and basketball teams.  I played my best and had fun. In this experience I made some new friends, some I hope to keep for the rest of college. I used my musical talents for the good of others. I got back my love for music, but served in new way. I don’t know if I will try again for Longhorn Band, but I always want to use my musical talents to serve others.


Finally, I gained confidence in my faith and my self-worth. I have admitted my so-called disability to more people. 21764922_10155048100832201_8386921050030533813_nI realized that Asperger’s makes me who I am, and I do not suffer from it. I have shared my Catholic faith to others. I have strength in God. I know what I believe and strive to learn more about Catholicism. I learned more about my faith through SEEK 2017, served others in Austin CARITAS 2017, and continue to learn and serve in both Longhorn Awakening 62 and 63.  I am growing in my relationship with God. I found friends who support me and build me up in prayer and love. I am reminded of how to support others and reciprocate love.

One of my resolutions for 2018 is continue to gain confidence. I plan to grow in my  faith in God and how I share it to others. Another resolution is to get a Civil Engineering internship for this upcoming summer. I want to do well and be in a place where I can use my talents to serve others. I want to move forward in my career. I plan on practicing my clarinet and piano. I also plan on blogging more often. Overall, I want to use my talents to always love and serve God. I want to live in His Light. I live to love God and others and forever.  My 2017 was great, and I hope for a better 2018! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Andrew Maynard

The Nerd of May



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