I remember the first time I stepped foot on the University of Northern Colorado campus. I had planned a visitor’s tour with my mom just because it was a school that was located in state; I had no intention to consider UNC in a serious way. The moment we drove on campus for the very first time, I fell in love. I loved the way it reminded me of the east coast, I loved how it wasn’t too big, and I loved how friendly everyone seemed. It was such a gorgeous campus to me. That March 30th of 2016, I decided that I was going to go to UNC. There was no other school I’d rather go to. My dad even tried to convince me to consider CU Boulder, but I swore I would never go there because it was too big. UNC was perfect for me.

I remember the day applications opened for my year. I ran downstairs to the family computer and zoomed through the application, ready for it to officially be submitted. A month later on September 8th of 2016, I received my acceptance letter and scholarship. I’ll tell you right now—it was nice to already be committed to a school by early September because everyone else seemed really stressed when application deadlines came around later that fall. I was so excited and passionate about going to UNC. I had never had as much school spirit in my whole life. If you were to ask anyone, they’d tell you that I was always repping UNC in one way or another—whether it be a lanyard, jacket, shirt, drawstring bag, etc.

I got the opportunity to be a part of a leadership camp on campus the week prior to normal move in day, so not only did I get to move in early, but I got to meet new people and one of them ended up being my best friend to this day. Everything seemed so great and I felt truly happy for the first time in years. It seemed as if all the pieces just fell right into place. I had what seemed to be a very solid friend group that was inseparable, I had a brand-new sisterhood, and I had what seemed to be really great roommates. It wasn’t until early September that everything began to go downhill.

I soon learned that college was definitely not what I had expected—it wasn’t always accepting and friendly. I learned that there were people that were going to trick you, play you, and leave you. I lost my entire friend group when one of the guys and I began to develop feelings for each other. They sat him down and told him he had to drop me, and then they all proceeded to drop me. It hurt so bad that there was a literal pain inside of my heart. It happened right after bid day for my sorority, so naturally I met someone that was in my sorority that eventually became my best friend. She and I did everything together—go out to party, do homework, get food together, even travel to Boulder to watch UNC get crushed by CU in football. I still had my UNC spirit at that point, why wouldn’t I? Things hadn’t gotten too bad at that point.

I also met my other best friend right after my entire friend group dropped me. He knew I was struggling and he knew one of the guys in my old friend group, so randomly one day he hit me up asking if I wanted to get out of Greeley for a little and go to Denver with him to get stuff from his house. I had only met him once, so I was hesitant, but I agreed and that became a very strong friendship. He and I would go on food runs at 1am almost every day, we would do homework together until very late at night, we would party together, and we would just spend so much time together. I helped him with his girl problems and he would listen to my guy problems. Looking back on it, we both friendzoned each other when at one point we both had feelings for each other. That friendship ended in October after we both went out one night and made a single bad decision that changed everything. I haven’t heard from him since that night—he completely ghosted me. It really sucked because he was really the strongest friendship I had at that time and losing him really broke me.

Around that same time, I had gotten a little wild and mixed up with the wrong group and everything went to shambles with the fraternity I was very close to and my sorority. I ended up getting blacklisted from the fraternity and I wasn’t allowed to initiate into my sorority. I could go into how the sorority ruined my reputation on campus and how they basically ruined UNC for me, but it’s just not necessary. I wrote an article about it called Goodbye Greek Life…For Now. Rumors were flying around, I was losing friends left and right, and soon enough I found myself alone and depressed. I was so depressed I couldn’t leave my bed, I had no motivation to do anything, and I couldn’t even get myself to eat. I began to heavily research other universities I could see myself going to and I began to apply for schools. I got into Northern Arizona for the spring semester and I was legitimately considering leaving after the fall semester.

I decided that I would give UNC one more semester and see how it went. Northern Arizona wasn’t going to happen for me. Over winter break my dad and I talked about me transferring and he had highly suggested and pressed I looked into CU Boulder, not because he works there, and my sister goes there, but because the business program there is really good. I decided I might as well, and soon enough the school that I swore I would never go to became the school I was very set on going to.

I’m not going to lie—spring semester started off strong. I was back in a relationship I had ended for a stupid reason in August and was happy, I dropped my sorority completely, I moved out of my toxic living environment (my roommates were horrible to me), and I finally had my motivation to do well in school. I was pretty happy again. I also had new friends, who are still my best friends and the realest people I’ve met at UNC. Mid-February my now ex broke up with me for another girl and that took a toll on my mental health. I had to go into therapy 3 times a week and I missed an entire month of school while coping. Once I was finally getting better the biggest struggle I had was finding that motivation to get my grades back up and do well—unfortunately I never really came back from that month off. As stressful as it is to say and think about, my spring semester was very difficult and disappointing academically.

I don’t want to leave UNC because of my best friends. I really dread leaving them behind. I considered staying and dropping CU Boulder, but I realized that Greeley was a place I couldn’t stay anymore. UNC wasn’t accepting of me anymore and people only knew of me because of rumors or misconceptions, not because they actually took the time to get to know me. The school also has great academics and if things hadn’t gone so bad in the fall, I probably wouldn’t even be writing this article.

Something I say to myself a lot is everything happens for a reason. I’m leaving UNC for a reason, and life has led me to CU for a reason. What reason is that, I’m not sure yet, but I know for a fact it will unfold eventually. I still plan on talking to my best friends from UNC and I plan on seeing them when I can next school year, but I also plan on making new friends, joining a new sorority, and finding my new path at Boulder.

Thank you, University of Northern Colorado, for teaching me a lot about life and myself in the matter of 8 months. Thank you for all of the happiness, the smiles, and the good memories. Thank you for all of the hardships, the tears, the struggles, and the bad memories. The good and the bad have allowed me to grow as a person and I know that I will only continue to grow from here on out. I’m disappointed and sad that UNC didn’t work out for me, but I’m thankful for the time I did have and the passion it gave me to do better in the future and to become a better person each and every day.

Thank you, and goodbye, UNC.