When I was 18, I thought I knew it all. I dreamed of going to a big college campus far away from home where I could experience diversity, meet tons of new people, and start the next phase of my life.
Well, It certainly started a new phase in my life but not quite the one I was expecting. Full of sleepless nights, sadness, and anxiety, I focused primarily on academics, in between obsessively communicating via aim (AOL instant messenger for all you millennials) with my long distance boyfriend and the high school friends I missed desperately. I hated my roommate, I felt disconnected from the other girls in my dorm because I didn’t want to join a sorority, and one of the only people in my building I felt connected to passed away midyear. Between all of that, the 9/11 attack, and a freak tornado outside my dorm room, I knew I couldn’t stay. After angstily telling my parents I wanted to drop out and my father replying “over my dead body,” I knew I had to reconsider my options.
I soon realized my only choice was to suck it up and deal for the next three and a half years, or transfer to a new school.
While the decision seems fairly obvious now, at the time it was excruciating. I felt like a complete failure even though my GPA was a 3.8 and was so incredibly embarrassed. And to top it all off, I hated to change. And now I was faced with it.
After what seemed like a million hours of going back and forth, I decided to complete my freshman year and then transfer to a smaller university closer to home to start out sophomore year. I fell in love with my new school and all of the people I met. I felt significantly more at home on campus, learned strategies to manage my anxiety, and ended an unhealthy relationship. I made amazing friends and in one week will be celebrating the 12th annual Friendsgiving celebration with one of my groups of friends from Tufts University. In the past decade, I have stated over and over again that transferring schools was the best decision I ever made.
To be honest, I still hate change. For those that are close to me know that I drive myself a little crazy when experiencing a change. But here’s the thing- even though my body feels tense and my mind screams bad things are about to happen, I know in my heart that a change just may be, the next best decision I’ve ever made.
For tips on how to cope with change, stay tuned for my next post!