Transitioning from senior year of high school to college is one of the biggest changes that a teenager can go through. This shift in my life personally hit me hard because I was a homebody who relied heavily on my family and my small group of friends for support and safety. When I moved to Tallahassee and realized that whenever I needed my family, I had to rely on phone calls because my home was a four-hour drive away, I wanted to isolate myself and stray from the scary and wild world of college. As I began to adjust to a completely different lifestyle, I began to find myself through the independence that I was forced to achieve.

As pathetic as it sounds, I never liked doing anything alone when I was in high school because I enjoyed the company and safety bubble of having someone familiar with me most of the time. College was another ball game that threw me into the wild pits, mostly consisting of irresponsible adults where I had to learn to manage all on my own. College forced me to do everything myself and through that, I began to realize who I was. During my first semester, I only made a few good friends who luckily weren't peer pressuring conformists. As a result of that, my individuality began to flourish. I progressively began to see myself as a strong woman rather than a dependent teenager.

College brought out the personality that I had shied away from around others in high school. I became sure of myself, as weird as I am, and owned my opinions, thoughts, style and whole being. Through observing such diverse individuals at FSU, I genuinely felt enlightened to become my own person and to stop conforming to so many standards that had been holding me back in previous years. Speaking up in class became less stressful, introducing myself to new people became natural, dressing the way I wanted started to feel empowering. When I thought about myself, I felt more love than my previous self-conscious mindset.

With my first year of college almost being over, I realize how much I've grown and become. The environment that had scared me at first ultimately shaped me into a stronger and more confident person who can look ahead at life with curiosity instead of fear.