The idea of going through an adjustment period never crossed my mind until I was in one. My mind glanced over the rather important factors that had a huge impact on how able I am to adjust. Of all factors, I did not know a single soul attending Rutgers, or anyone who had gone in the past. Unfamiliarity among peers was a very uncommon feeling for me, and it became extremely prominent during my first days away at college. Another factor is that everyone, no matter who you are, has to go through a period of adjusting when life changes so drastically. Not realizing this made me feel more alone than ever.

There were more days than not within my first weeks away from home that I felt I was in the wrong place. My optimistic mindset before attending college was completely shut down when I realized I was living at an unknown place far from home, and I had no one around me that I had known for more than a few days. It sent me into a panic, my mind was racing and consistently telling me to go home. But home was not home anymore. What I was searching for was familiarity, and the area is familiar, but home is not home without the people you love, and all the people I love were hours away, going through the same adjustment I was.

Home was ruled out. I was forced to stay at school and make the realization that I am attending Rutgers for a reason. There was a reason I toured the school and then committed the next day because I knew one day it would feel like home. These ideas seem clear to me now, but I struggled to form them for a while, as I was trying to balance my classes, living on my own and making relationships.

And this is growing up.

Realizing that there is not always an easy way out, perseverance through uneasy situations and being grounded in your truths is what will help during these adjustment periods that everyone will face at some point. I understood that home was not the same, I could not return there and be driving to my friends' houses or attending my high school. I had to keep moving even though I felt wildly unsure of my future at college, and I was grounded by the fact that I knew I loved this school, and that feeling of love would return once I settled in and gave myself the time to understand that life would be drastically different, but change was necessary for me to be the best version of myself. It is time for me to be who I am, and live life independently, making the right and wrong decisions as an adult and learning on my own.

Now I could not be happier in my situation. I am happiest when with my friends at college, living every day together and always having a laugh. The opportunities I have encountered are beyond what I could imagine and would be unavailable to me if I were home. Fear makes you want to run, being overwhelmed makes you want to run, but before running away, try to dig a bit deeper on the question of "Why are you here in the first place?"