Around four years ago, halfway through my senior year of high school, I made one of the biggest decisions of my life; I decided to attend Adelphi University. To be perfectly honest, I made the decision because I had had a dream that I was in an Adelphi classroom and it just felt right. Some may say that's not the best way to choose a college, but maybe the "perfect" college is less about actual perfection and more about the feeling that it leaves you with. For the past four years I have experienced more growth and development than the rest of my life combined and below are just some of the things I learned about myself during my time at AU.
1) I'm not as afraid of change as I thought I was
Although Adelphi is a 15 minute drive from my house, I chose to dorm in Linen Hall for my first year. I don't think anything can prepare you for your first year of dorming. The freedom is incredible, of course, but it also has its difficult moments; I missed my family more than I thought I would and doing all of my own laundry wasn't exactly exhilarating. Having said that, I wouldn't have changed anything. It taught me that I was mature enough to be successful on my own, even if I called my parents and sister every night.
2) I learned to speak up for myself
I was always the quiet girl in high school. So quiet that sometimes I ended up feeling all but invisible. College changed that. While I was living at school, my severe food allergies gave me a reason to advocate for myself every time I ordered a meal or ate at school. The responsibility of looking out for my food concerns no longer fell on my mother's shoulders, and knowing that I was able to take on that responsibility made me feel unstoppable.[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2017%2F01%2F14%2F6362001636170201681906550965_University-Center-Cafe.jpg%3Ft%3D1480444616&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=124&h=8a202f0ccd49c48a15436c3a26a49a215ff4b86df0e79667390eef3bf9416492&size=980x&c=3807035534 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2017%252F01%252F14%252F6362001636170201681906550965_University-Center-Cafe.jpg%253Ft%253D1480444616%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D124%26h%3D8a202f0ccd49c48a15436c3a26a49a215ff4b86df0e79667390eef3bf9416492%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3807035534%22%7D" expand=1 original_size="1x1"]
3) I found my place
I was far from popular from high school, but in college, I found the places where I felt the most at home. I am at home in my English major classes with the friends who share my love of reading and passion of writing. I am at home in my sorority, Delta Gamma, with girls who welcomed me when I was a lost freshman and shaped me into the woman I am now. I am home in my Odyssey community where I have the ability to write about everything and anything that comes to mind. And I am at home writing for the Delphian, our school's campus newspaper. Adelphi gave me the welcoming spaces that I never found in high school.[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2017%2F01%2F14%2F636200164315053520559506335_swirbul_opt.jpg%3Ft%3D1458132781&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=193&h=2b1a84f52f7db9300d3dda4ee7da1a615b48ed9a648334215e4ece79ece89183&size=980x&c=1026180236 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2017%252F01%252F14%252F636200164315053520559506335_swirbul_opt.jpg%253Ft%253D1458132781%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D193%26h%3D2b1a84f52f7db9300d3dda4ee7da1a615b48ed9a648334215e4ece79ece89183%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1026180236%22%7D" expand=1 original_size="1x1"]
4) I found my friends
Adelphi has introduced me to some of the warmest, brightest, and most motivated people I know. Some have interests and aspirations that intersect with my own, but others are on completely different paths than me. I could never express how thankful I am to have met such vibrant and memorable people. The thing about college is that even though you may not see your friends every single day, the bonds you form are so much richer and deeper than the friendships made in high school. I will never forget how each person I've become close with has influenced me.
5) My Professors genuinely care about me
I am fortunate enough to say that I have felt encouraged by almost every, if not every, Professor I have taken a class with at AU. I feel that my thoughts and comments in class have been not only listened to, but met with respect and appreciation. I know that at some larger colleges, students are just a number, but at Adelphi my professors not only knew me, but encouraged and worked with me during every class.
6) I am ready for whatever comes next
I am far from the shy, hesitant girl that started at Adelphi four years ago. I have found my passions, gained confidence, and established a clear vision of the kind of person I want to be and the places I want to end up. I have no idea what I will come across after graduation, but I do know that Adelphi has prepared me and left me in a much better place than where I began. I'm still in awe of the fact that this is my last semester, but I will never forget the impact that Adelphi, and the people I met there, had on my life.