Much like other LGBT people, my life has significantly improved in the past few years. Since the beginning of college, I’ve had many fantastic experiences — experiences that I never thought I’d enjoy when I was in middle school or high school. Change.org writers are compiling top ten lists of things in life that improved drastically after their middle school and high school years. This is the third post in the series. Check out Cristian’s list, Allison’s list, and Brandon’s list, or add your own list to the comments. Here are some of the most exciting and rewarding things I’ve done since graduating from high school.

1. Had a wonderful relationship with my girlfriend. We met over three years ago and have been together to share everything. I’ve experienced a love and support stronger than I ever imagined.

2. Become a blogger for Change.org. It’s given me a reason to obsessively follow LGBT news and the opportunity to share my thoughts with thousands of people.

3. Live in New York City. I’ve always wanted to live in Manhattan, and now I share a cute place here with my girlfriend. In high school, I never would have imagined that I would have a place in New York by the time I was 22. And I especially wouldn’t have imagined that I’d be sharing it with the person I love.

4. Made a difference fighting for causes I care about. I’ve had the opportunity to intern for the Human Rights Campaign, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the American Civil Liberties Union of PA, and to volunteer for the New York Civil Liberties Union.

5. Graduated from Carnegie Mellon University. In high school, I was proud that I had gotten into Carnegie Mellon, but I didn’t realize that graduating is the hard part. Not only did I graduate in 3 1/2 years, but I made the Dean’s List with High Honors during my last two semesters!

6. Become the president of two clubs in college. I love fighting for LGBT rights and think airplanes are really cool. In college, I was president of both ALLIES, Carnegie Mellon’s LGBT organization, and the Carnegie Aeronautical Association.

7. Gone on many adventures. I’ve been skydiving, backpacking, and caving.

8. Overcome my fear of public speaking. I spoke in front of the entire freshman class at Carnegie Mellon about diversity and why it’s important to be yourself regardless of social norms. I was terrified but now I have the confidence to know that I can speak in front of crowds.

9. Been to several Pride marches and festivals. I marched with the Human Rights Campaign in Capital Pride and with In the Life Media in New York City Pride. And I’ve cheered on those marching as an attendee at several other Pride marches.

10. Attended awesome events and met famous people. I’ve watched speeches by Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and John Edwards. And I’ve met celebrities including Wyclef Jean, Bethenny Frankel, and one of my favorite authors, Kate Bornstein.

Photo credit: divemasterking2000

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