Ever since I was little, I dreamed of faraway places and the life I might have as an adult. I moved quite a bit when I was younger, so getting the opportunity to start over and meet new people always appealed to me. I believe the world is an interesting place we all can learn and grow from, but we have to be willing to seek after it.

When I applied to colleges my senior year of high school, I applied to a total of 15 schools. 6 in state, 9 out of state. The ones that were in state were more of my "safety" schools. It's not that I don't believe the state of Pennsylvania has great schools, but it didn't seem different to me. With that, I got into all 15 after being waitlisted from two.

It's important to note that I always loved the University of Pittsburgh. My dad went to Pitt during his undergrad, so it was basically installed into me when I was 6, I would go there too. I started attending football games with my parents and my dad's friends, constantly visited the university, and even dreamed of attending the school. However, when it came down to deciding where I wanted to go, I lost all appeal. I felt like I was following too much in my dad's footsteps. I thought I wanted to go to ROTC as he did, and even had plans of being an army nurse to make a full career out of it.

I felt a need to discover who I was without feeling like I was living in someone else's shadow. I wanted to find my own destiny and create it without feeling pressure.

At the end of it all, I ended up choosing Temple University in Philadelphia. Yes, it was in state, but it was six hours away from home in one of the biggest cities in America. For an aspiring Political Science major, I loved how it was dead in the middle between New York City, Harrisburg, and Washington D.C., so the possibilities of different internships and job opportunities pulled me in. Plus, when I went to visit the campus, I basically fell in love with the university.

However, things changed halfway through my sophomore year. Just like anyone moving away from home for the first time, I struggled to adjust and get used to living on my own. I like to think I have always been a fairly independent person. However, moving to a new city meant learning my way around the city, navigating the subways, and other basic adult functions as I no longer had my mother there to help me. Sure, she was a phone call away but I needed to learn to be on my one.

I was happy for a while at Temple. I mean, I was a part of a sorority - something advertised to be the best decision ever. I just didn't feel like myself. Yet, I thought I was going through just a rough patch and would overcome it. It got to the point I no longer felt comfortable at Temple since I reached a point where I just broke down. I couldn't keep going on pretending everything was okay because it clearly was not.

Ultimately, I decided to move back home and attend the University of Pittsburgh like I always dreamed. I do believe a part of me always wondered what my life would be like if I did attend Pitt. And now that I'm here, I can say this is the best decision of my life.

Not only am I at the university I always dreamed of, but I feel happier. I am not only working hard in school but taking care of myself in the process. I have grown from the person who I was just a few months ago, and that is something amazing. I feel so blessed to have parents and friends who have heard that I've been struggling and pushing me to do what is best for me.

I am just at the beginning of discovering who I am, and I couldn't be any more excited about what this next chapter as in store. It's only been eight weeks since I became a Pitt Panther, and I couldn't be any happier.