Growing up in Alabama, just like a lot of others, The University of Alabama was my top, and only, college choice, and lucky for me, my best friend since fifth grade had the same plans. Spending every day of high school together, we would plan our future together at the big university, discussing what dorm we would room in, how we would decorate, and our majors.
A lot of high schoolers dream of moving away and starting their future, but for me, this dream was extra special because I would get to do it all with my very best friend.
Every so often we would visit the university for competitions and conventions. It was the only campus I had ever really visited, but I could definitely see myself as a student here. But then again, something seemed to be holding me back. Shortly after one of my visits, I really started to wonder if I could call this place my home.
I started researching "best schools in Alabama for journalism." As I scrolled down the list, one school stood out to me. Troy University. I clicked on their website, and I was immediately intrigued. I became infatuated with a small and spirited university. I followed the university on Instagram and read articles written by students and something just clicked.
I knew I had a dilemma to face.
What about all the plans I made? How was I going to tell my best friend I chose to go to another school?
I remember briefly mentioning to her that I would be visiting Troy over the summer. I could see the confusion on her face, but she reassured me that if I loved Troy, that's where I should go to school.
The closer it got to my visit, the more nervous I felt. I had a feeling this was my home, but I wasn't ready to accept it yet. But whether I was ready or not, the day came for my visit, and my nerves slowly turned into excitement.
With every mile passing, I knew I was getting closer and closer to my future.
Every building I passed on campus was beautiful, and everyone I talked to was kind. At that point, I knew I was somewhere special. I told myself, this is it. This is where you belong. Troy made accepting this very easy, but the hard part was yet to come. I knew I had to tell her.
I worried about the conversation, but I knew it was time to tell her. To my surprise, when I told her I had to go to Troy, she told me how happy she was for me.
Instead of talking about how we would spend the year, we started planning how we would spend Christmas and spring break, when we will visit each other, and how the 2-hour drive to see each other.
Plans change and life moves fast. Sometimes things don't always work out the way you plan, but that's OK.