Do You Ever Get Stuck Wondering "What If?"

Do You Ever Get Stuck Wondering "What If?"

What if I choose that college 511 miles away?

As senior year of high school rolled around, the one question every future college student pondered was, "What if?"

Do you ever get stuck wondering, "What if?"

What if I go to school 511 miles away?

What if I stay here?

What happens if I leave everything behind?

Will I be able to start over again?

All these questions were the very things I wondered every day in the fall of my senior year. I had only one big move in my entire life, and that was in my early childhood. Flash forward 12 years, and the college opportunities ahead were endless... I could apply anywhere, get accepted and go anywhere I wanted. No more county lines, zip codes or school districts would serve as a boundary anymore. So I asked myself, "What will I do?"

I applied to seven schools, four of them out of state and the closest one three hours away. Throughout high school, I watched old friends move to new places and start a new life in a new school, make a new identity for themselves and watched them thrive. I was secretly envious while I was stuck in the same exact school with the same exact people from 1st grade to senior year.

When it was finally my turn to pick colleges, I knew I had to start over. I used to dream about my parents telling me we were moving, walking into a new school with much friendlier people and embracing a fresh atmosphere...Until the alarm rang on Monday morning to wake me up from an alternate reality my heart wanted so badly. Every time, after realizing it was only a "What if life was different?" dream, I used to sit in my bed for several minutes and almost cry from how sad I was to return to the place that hurt me so much.

At last, 2017 arrived and before I knew it, I committed and visited my future home for the first time. And when we came, I felt like a weight was lifted off my chest, like I could finally breathe again and see the light at the end of this seemingly never-ending tunnel.

But oh my, was the road to recovery difficult. The choice to move away to attend college out of state is not a spur of the moment decision. It required us to sit down as a family and have serious talks.

Being an out of state student means that I can't go home on the weekends as I please. My parents can't take a day trip up to take care of me if I get sick, which means I had to learn how to take care of myself in order to stay healthy. I took all the financial, physical and emotional responsibilities upon myself. Trying to balance a social life, enough sleep, healthy eating habits and managing academic stress along with homesickness is far from easy.

Part of living 511 miles away means that I have to navigate the headache of very long and treacherous bus rides home, dedicating two full days of my breaks to the 8-hour drive to and from campus and cutting time away that could be spent at home. When I first arrived in Athens, I was in tears by the end of the first week. I was homesick, scared and unsure if I could handle the enormous task of not leaving Ohio for 3 months, getting a visit from mom and dad once every month (or two) and making friends with people I've never seen before in my life.

I went from having nothing going for me here, to turning it around and making it so I now have everything going for me here: my friends, my social life, my school, my new home, my new life. I had to struggle with my raging insecurities by myself and learn how to step outside the safe bubble I lived in for so long, and sometimes that meant feeling like a fish out of water in a place where everyone seemed to know each other, someone's parent, sibling, cousin, grandparent, aunt or uncle went here and now they're a legacy.

The first semester was an uphill battle of managing travel costs home, out of state tuition, adjusting to the rigor of my major and learning to accept my first ever F in a class.

But if I hadn't chosen Ohio University and decided to play it safe, to go to a local college, come home on the weekends and stick with my previous classmates in a place I knew inside and out, I would have been left wondering, "What if?"

What if I did take that leap of faith and move far away?

Would things be different? Would I be happier?

Would I have found a new home?

The questions circling around in my head would never leave me alone. But every tear, every mishap and every heartbreak has only helped to shape me into the strong, independent woman I am today because I took that jump and instead of giving reasons why it wouldn't work, I made reasons why it would.

So to any high school senior thinking about moving hundreds or even thousands of miles away from home to go to college, remember that it is a very serious decision and it is not to be taken lightly. However, if you choose to do so, I promise you it'll be the adventure of a lifetime. Because "If we were meant to stay in one place, we'd have roots instead of feet..." - Rachel Wolchin

And if you take away one thing from this today, remember this: "It's better to cross the line and suffer the consequences than to just stare at that line for the rest of your life."

Cover Image Credit: Anna Kropov

Popular Right Now

Back To Reality

Only six more weeks of school!

Unfortunately spring break has come to an end. Fortunately, the weeks that follow spring break before summer are some of the fastest you'll ever experience.

If you're a senior in high school, you'll be shocked to see how fast your last year of high school went by. Prom will be coming up, and you'll start to say your last goodbye's to people you've virtually spent your whole life with

Similarly, if you're a freshman in college, you won't believe that you graduated high school a year ago already.

Lastly, if you're a senior in college, get ready to be thrown into the real world real soon. The only way you can delay that is if you're leaving college just to go back to continue more school after (yay for higher education @MedStudents @LawStudents).

These weeks for college students will be filled with the middle round of exams, and then final exams. Finals will hit us like a bus as they always do, but at that point you have three months of not thinking about school once, what's better than that?

The weather will start to get warmer (hopefully.... @Syracuse), people will start to hang out more outside, and you can almost taste the freedom. You see the light at the end of the tunnel, if only you could get there sooner.

Once these weeks go by, I will enter my third year of college and no longer be an underclassmen. My big will graduate and it will just be my little and I in our sorority, and will (hopefully) be getting ready to study abroad.

Back to the reality that is school, it sucks that spring break is over. When you first get back, it's going to feel like the days are dragging and you just can't fathom how you're supposed to get through another six weeks of school.

As you get back into the rhythm of things, you see that March blends into April and once you're in April you realize finals exist again, and then next thing you know it it's May, you just finished your last exam, and you're moving out of school.

Another one gone, another year bites the dust.

The time between Spring Break and finals is actually my favorite. You feel the energy of your school go up because you're in the home stretch of finishing up for the year and everyone just seems happier. Even the chronically stressed take a step back and appreciate all the hard work they've done in the year.

Take these weeks with a grain of salt because before you know it it'll be over. Life goes on and time doesn't stop for anyone, so enjoy your time in the places that you are while you can!

Cover Image Credit: Anna Russo

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

5 Times "Sex and the City" Got It Spot On

Carrie Bradshaw's advice to you all

It's that time of the semester when everything starts to get dreary.

You're sick of the winter weather, the midterms and papers, the waiting for the summer, and actually being sick. I caught the flu last week, along with my entire campus, and was bed ridden for a couple of days. I found this frustrating as I like to keep busy, but Amazon Prime Video kept me well entertained with the first 6 seasons of Sex and the City.

I may be a cliche, but I had forgotten how relatable this show was, how every shoe-shopping experience, every argument, every relationship, is one which I have seen or had before. I collected some quotations here: five times that Sex and the City was spot on about my life.

1. 'Sexy is what I try to get them to see me as after I win them over with my personality.'

I look about fifteen, and while people say that I will be grateful when I am thirty, right now it is a real bummer to be labeled "cute" and "sweet" instead of sexy. However, after spending time with someone, I can show them that I am not actually the youthful girl my face presents. Instead, I am a strong 21-year-old, with a passion for travel, law, politics, and winning the bread for any future family I may have. Ambition is sexy, drive is sexy, mystery is sexy.

2. 'He doesn't even know me, the least he could do is get to know me before he rejects me.'

College teaches you that you are not going to be liked by everyone, but Miranda states something heartbreaking in her pursuit of a man. Men and women alike will often reject a person before getting to know them - something which I have experienced first-hand. As aforementioned, personality is the key to attraction, and appearances should be an afterthought. If you don't like someone post-coffee, then fine, but nobody deserves to be rejected off-the-bat.

3. 'Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with.'

Carrie Bradshaw has become somewhat of an icon, even her biggest mistakes doused with strength, creativity, glamour, and beauty. At the start of the show, at already 30 years old, she demonstrates how not being in a relationship/married is not detrimental to your character. Furthermore, in a world which is becoming so much more accepting of women in positions of power - in the office, politics etc - it is obvious that "taking your time" with your relationships gives more time for you to work on yourself and your career.

4. 'It’s tempting to wish for the perfect boss, the perfect parent, or the perfect outfit. But maybe the best any of us can do is not to quit, play the hand we’ve been dealt, and accessorize what we’ve got.'

I don't believe in quitting, especially when the excuse is circumstances. When I hear stories of men such as Aron Ralston and Bethany Hamilton, I cannot bring myself to use my personal problems as excuses to quit. Sure, it's okay to give yourself a break now and again, and to pat yourself on the back for overcoming an obstacle, but without a push to "just keep swimming", how can you ever hope to achieve greatness or to be the best you can be?

5. 'The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous.'

I leave you with a self explanatory self-love quotation. While on your search for friendship and companionship, learn to talk to yourself (maybe not in the literal sense), learn about yourself and your strengths and weaknesses, because only then will you find someone to accept you for the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Cover Image Credit: Marie Claire

Related Content

Facebook Comments