To the out of stater wondering if you made the wrong college choice,

Being an out of state student can be lonely, especially at a large school where the vast majority of students are from in state. It feels like everyone knows so many people and has so many friends already. Certain weekends make this lonely feeling even more intense when it seems like everyone else on campus has gone home, leaving you in a quiet dorm by yourself.

The overwhelming loneliness at the begging of your first semester at college can make you question everything, especially as you look on social media and see all your friends from high school that stayed in-state hanging out and experiencing college together. It can make you feel like you made the wrong choice of college and like you should have just stayed in your home state.

I know this feeling. I've been there. I remember Labor Day weekend last year, my first semester at UGA coming from Florida, when everyone I knew had gone home for the weekend. I remember sitting in my dorm of nearly 1000 first-year students and feeling like I was the only person in the building. I remember looking at my friends from high school, all at University of Florida or University of South Florida together, and thinking how much happier I would be with them. I wouldn't be blasting Netflix to fill the silence and feel like someone was with me. I wouldn't feel like I'm alone in the world. I would have friends.

I also remember going on my laptop and looking up how to transfer to UF to be with my friends and end my loneliness. I thought that maybe things would be different at a school I turned down, and I knew that things would be different if I was still in Florida. I was so sure that I had made a mistake by choosing to go out of state and by choosing the college I chose that I was considering transferring.

But then my roommate came back, and we became friends rather than two strangers trying to coexist. Everyone I had met in my first three weeks of college came back, and those same people are my best friends in the world today. Since that Labor Day weekend, I haven't felt lonely once, and I certainly haven't questioned my decision to come to Georgia again.

The start of your first year in a new state where you know nobody can be the loneliest and scariest time of your life, but I promise you that it will get better. You will find your place, and you will make this new state your home. You will make the most amazing people that you never would have met otherwise. You will make the best memories with the best friends.

You may be thinking that you made the wrong choice now, but I promise you that you didn't. You have made the bravest, boldest, most amazing decision of your life. Give it a little time. You'll see.