When I was in middle school, I decided that New York City was where I belonged. At the time, I wanted to be a criminal psychologist and get a P.h.D. I started looking into colleges in New York and decided New York University was the one. Even with its daunting 12% acceptance rate, I was ready for the challenge. I am an over-achiever, of course.

Well, to say the least, high school did not go as planned. A lot happened in my life that diverted my attention away from my grades and to more important life things, like my family and my mental health. By the time 11th grade rolled around, I questioned whether I wanted to center my life around work like I knew I would have to if I wanted to be the FBI agent I always dreamed of being.

Through all this questioning, I still thought I was going to NYU, even if it wasn't for criminal justice.

Through my quest for a college safety net, I toured Temple and immediately my perception of the school changed. I didn't want to go there for a whole list of reasons: everyone from my high school went there, it wasn't in the best neighborhood, it was too close to home and I wanted to get away. I just decided to give it a look because I was running out of options.

All of this didn't matter, though, when I saw what my life could be like at Temple. I visited on the first day of the 2016 fall semester and the campus was alive with activity. As we walked around, I loved the campus itself and the energy the people around me exuded. I could already tell that Temple could be a potential home.

Long story short, NYU rejected me and I plunged into self-doubt, pity, and disappointment. I felt like I failed before I even got to college. I was that loser that got rejected from their first choice and had to settle for the second option. Woe was truly me.

Flash forward, I am now a student at Temple and let me tell you, it was the best decision I could have ever made for myself.

Philadelphia is no New York, but that's why I love it. It has its own nuances that makes it unique. We have the historical foundations of this country at our fingertips, as well as a hub of art, music, interesting people, and so much more. Being at Temple gives me so much access to everything this city has to offer for students and I am so grateful for that.

Temple has also introduced me to tons of people, and I barely see the people I went to high school with! I was so worried about not being able to branch out and being stuck with everyone I grew up with but I was failing to recognize how many other people go here. Every day I see a new face and feel the unlimited opportunity to get to know someone new.

I have only been here for a little over a month, but Temple is like a home away from home to me. I like being close enough to my family that its only a five dollar train ride to get to them, but I feel independent at the same time.

Temple University poses endless opportunities and, even though its not NYU, I feel like I can really achieve what I was meant to achieve here, all while having fun, making friends, and figuring out who I am.