754159In August of 2014, I started school as a freshman at Towson University in Maryland. I had the best first year. I had two of my best friends from home with me, amazing friends that were in my dorm hall, and I loved my classes. I was reluctant to leave for summer. I was excited to go home and see my friends and family, but I just had so much fun at school. That was a year I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Come my sophomore year, things started to change for me. To this day, I can’t put my finger on what it was but school just wasn’t the same. I started to feel uncomfortable. All the sudden a place that I loved and my home away from home started to feel foreign. I would leave for weekends and not want to come back. I started feeling anxious and no longer wanted to be away. I told myself that it was normal to feel this way and everyone goes through rough patches. That worked for a while. In the spring of my sophomore year, I knew I needed to make a drastic change.

I decided to transfer home halfway through my college career and commute to school. I started my junior year in New Jersey and I haven’t looked back. I still miss my friends from Towson and I keep in touch with them. It came to a point where I had to better myself because I was not doing that when I was away. I wouldn’t trade the two years I spent away at school for anything, but transferring home has taught me so much about myself. Here are a couple of things that I learned.

It’s OK to transfer

There is such a stigma associated with transferring schools. When I went to college I never would have thought I would be leaving. It’s also so scary to admit to yourself that you’re not happy where you are. All that matters is your happiness. Who cares what anyone else thinks? It’s totally okay to still be looking for the place where you fit in. At 18, we are expected to know where we want to move away from home to spend the next four years and what we want to do with the rest of our lives. It’s ok that we may not have that all figured out. It is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.

I am independent

I thought I would gain my independence when I went away to school. It turns out that was not the case. I would rely on my new friends that I made and was still not comfortable enough to do things on my own like grab lunch or sit in the library. When I came home, I was forced to step out of my comfort zone in a brand new school. I got a job when I came home and also earned an internship at school as well. I was pushing forward and have never been more proud of myself. My friends could even see a change in how happy I was.

My college experience may not be a “normal” one like everyone else’s, but I wouldn’t change a thing.  I had to do what was best for me and at the end of the day, I knew the decision I had made was the right one. If you’re not feeling comfortable or know you need a change, MAKE THAT CHANGE! Don’t be afraid to start something new!