For my first year of college, I decided to attend a university that was close to home. Being a short distance of 40 minutes away, I felt comfortable, too comfortable, with the fact that I would be so close and would be able to come home whenever I wanted. This is what stopped me from really stepping out of my comfort zone.
When I was in my senior year of high school, I was very attached to the people I surrounded myself with. My best friend was a grade lower than me, and I was sad to be leaving her behind. What would I do without my best friend? The thought of college absolutely terrified me. I didn't know what I wanted to do or how I was going to be successful, so I went the safe route when deciding where I would be attending college that fall.
I applied to as many places as I could. Even though I wasn't interested in many of them, I just wanted to have plenty of options just in case. I chose to attend the closest university to me, and I was still nervous as I headed there in the fall.
My freshman year of college taught me a lot. I met some friends and was in awe at the amount of independence I felt like I had. I was very shy and quiet and didn't know what to really do with myself once I got there. I chose my major to be journalism, which I chose because of my love to write, but I still was pretty unsure about that path and I wasn't sure if I was in the right major. I felt like I knew so little about college, and I found myself still attached to my high school life at home.
Deep down, I knew something had to change.
As the year went on, I felt less and less happy with where I had chosen to be. I wanted to go home all the time, and I didn't feel like this university was the place where I could thrive and learn. What I had discovered, however, was that I did indeed love journalism. I wanted to pursue it, but I didn't want to pursue it where I currently was.
Then came the thought of transferring schools, a thought that kept popping up in my mind towards the end of the first semester. At first, I pushed the thought away because I thought it would be too difficult to change colleges and start over again completely. But as I came home for the winter break, I knew it was what I had to do. College was supposed to give me learning experiences and lots of opportunities to get out of my comfort zone, and I wasn't getting that where I was enrolled.
Throughout my years of high school, I always wanted to attend Miami University. I thought the campus was beautiful, and I thought I would fit right in. I was just too afraid at the fact that it was so far away, so I never really pursued it. I knew I wouldn't get anywhere in life if I didn't try to get out of my comfort zone.
Over that winter break, I applied right away as a transfer student. I got really good grades, and sometime in the spring, I found out I had gotten accepted. I was so excited. This was the new beginning I was hoping for! Somewhere I had dreamed of going as a high school student. A little late to the party, but ready for a fresh start.
The following summer after my freshman year, I prepared myself to become a whole new me, someone who would push out of my comfort zone and do everything I could to be proud of myself and successful at this new journey I was about to embark on.
As I started as a sophomore at Miami University that fall, I immediately felt a difference. I just knew this time that this was where I was supposed to be. I got involved in multiple clubs, got an on-campus job, and met many people. Miami is now like a second home, and I couldn't be more proud of the person I have become.
As I transition into my senior year of college, I always try to remind myself that it is important to get out of your comfort zone and try new things that will help you be successful and become a better you. My dad once told me, "Luck happens when hard work meets opportunity," and that is something that always keeps me pushing forward.