This week, I have to pack up my dorm and say goodbye to my freshman year of college. I didn't exactly have the "traditional" freshman year. I didn't make tons of friends or join a bunch of clubs (including Greek life. This is not about Greek life.).

I didn't "find myself."

Instead, I took a year for myself.

My senior year of high school was a mix of some of the highest highs and lowest lows I've ever experienced. I was in a pretty rough place last August, and I was afraid to let people into my life again, even if they were strangers that had no preconceived notions about me. Because of this, I made the choice to step back from being the super-involved, social girl I had been for the past four years.

Sure, I missed out on a lot that I wish I had been a part of. I'm just now discovering that vast number of groups I could've joined and just how amazing my dorm community is. I'm really disappointed in myself that I'm not in the place I wanted to be at this point in my college career, but I'm so grateful I had the ability to take a year to myself.

I was able to work on my studies without much distraction, so I didn't reach the super high, self-inflicted stress levels I'd been living under for most of my teenage life. I was able to explore topics and attend events I normally wouldn't have in fear of judgment from my former classmates. I got the opportunity to relax and get myself settled.

For the first time in my life, my summer is all planned out and I'm excited to hit the goals I have in mind.

I already know much of what I'll be doing with my sophomore year of college which includes plans to branch out of my bubble I've lived in for the past school year. Unlike last year at this time, I'm confident. I know what I want and I'm in a place that I can get it. I'm set up for another completely fresh start in August, but this time I'll be able to make it what I want it to be.

As I zip my bags shut and reluctantly say goodbye to my roommate, I'll return home with a weight off my shoulders because I know I'll be coming back to a place that I'm ready to be, all thanks to the year I took to myself.