For my entire life, I've always been a Western Pennsylvania kid at heart. Weekends were dedicated to the Steelers, summers for the Pirates, and practically every other day for the Penguins. We have Christmas ornaments of black and yellow, and a few blue and gold for the University of Pittsburgh. It's no lie that every room in my childhood house has something relating to the University of Pittsburgh since my dad is an alum. And I thought I would always go there straight after high school.

During my senior, I applied to the university like so many other people but ended up getting waitlisted. I won't lie. It completely crushed me. I thought I had failed at life because I was so in love with the idea of being a Pitt Panther.

However, then I got accepted to Temple University a month later. My mom and I drove out to Philadelphia to check out to school and I fell in love again. I loved being able to call somewhere my own and loved the diversity of the campus. I figured then getting waitlisted from Pitt was a sign I was supposed to go to Temple, so I committed.

I've always been a believer that things in life happen for a reason.

Of course, in the beginning, I faced being homesick which didn't help with my anxiety. I missed being around what was familiar to me but eventually began to really embrace being a Temple Owl as I gained more friends and began to explore Philadelphia more on the weekends. I was beginning to think this was my home away from home.

And yes, getting into a sorority helped ease some of the sadness away.

However, that happiness I felt last semester didn't stick around from when I returned after summer break. I had to go home last summer, and all I can remember doing was counting down the days until I would be back in North Philadelphia and all my friends there. I thought this is where I was my happiest.

When I came back this semester, I felt maybe three weeks where I was truly happy. I was extremely motivated to get work done but also do stuff with my friends and my sorority. Something shifted in mid-September when I began feeling a bit more anxious. It only escalated from there. I felt alone and miserable 90% of the time, and 100% unmotivated to get work done. I tried so hard to get work done but just ended up getting half and rushing to do most of it before class. I wasn't myself. October and November are just a blur where I felt numb. I felt attacked and anxious. I called my mom crying so much, I knew something was wrong.

It got so bad that I impulsively submitted a transfer application to Pitt out of frustration. I figured I wouldn't get in anyways.

Thanksgiving break was when I took a step back and talked with my doctor what has been going on. Part of my problem why I've let my emotions built up is struggling to find a therapist who I trust and who accepts my insurance, so there was a huge period where I wasn't going to therapy like I probably should have. My doctor prescribed me anxiety meds and explained she wanted me to go see a therapist more. Since I lived on the other side of the state, she suggested potentially doing sessions over the phone but that wasn't something I really wanted. The last thing I wanted though was also to take a semester off from college to come back home and be behind on my academics.

On Thanksgiving, I received an email from Pitt's Office of Admissions with a video. It was my acceptance video as they mailed my acceptance letter a day before but because of the holiday, it would be delayed. I was over the moon, more excited than I thought I was going to be!

I decided the day before I left, when I was begging my mom if I could come back home the following weekend, I was going to transfer.

Even though I am sad to be leaving Temple and all my friends here, I know I am doing what is best for me. I am so excited to call myself now a Pitt Panther and what the next chapter of my life might have for me.

Hail to Pitt.