Going through high school, I never was interested in any in-state colleges, I was dying to get out of Maryland and be in a new place. I wasn't sure where I wanted to go until I looked into the College of Charleston, it instantly became my number 1 school.

I have 4 siblings and out of 5 of us, 4 are in college right now- that's a lot of money being spent on our tuition. I'm the only one of my siblings to go out of state so my tuition is drastically higher, this put a lot of pressure on me to earn scholarships and do anything to lower the cost.

My freshmen year I was very happy at my school but I felt guilty at times over the cost of my tuition and I was always stressing over how much money my parents had to pay for me to be able to continue attending CofC. At the beginning of the second semester, I let the stress of it all get to me and I was thinking about transferring in state to save money on tuition. When I told my parents, they were so against this idea and I was shocked.

The main thing that stuck with me was when my dad told me that I am not going to get a better education elsewhere and Charleston is where I belong. I realized that transferring would be a horrible mistake.

At the end of my freshmen year, I can finally say with confidence that I truly belong in Charleston. No other school would give me the same opportunities that I need.

Going into my sophomore year, I'm going to try to stress less over the cost of tuition because I know that every penny spent is totally worth it. I try to help with my tuition in any way possible from paying for books to other small expenses.

College of Charleston is where I belong and is truly my second home. I can't wait to return in August and see what my sophomore year holds for me.