There is not a period of my life where I've felt like the odd one in a friend group or even the black sheep of my family. Of course, I have parents who accept me and I'm more than thankful for that. However, that is it.

Yes, I also had what you may call "friends." They weren't though. In high school, I was really just trying to survive and get to a better chapter of my life. I felt like I had no other choice than to try to make friendships work because I had no choice of where I went to high school. To an extent, I just hung out with people to feel less lonely than I already was feeling. I also knew these so-called "friends" wouldn't talk to me after high school either. I bet none of them can tell you something about me.

I also have a very small family. I'm the only child, so I really just have my mom, my grandmother on my mom's side, and my uncle.

I just always felt like I was missing something.

Going to college showed me that family is not defined by blood relations. I came to Temple with no understanding of what a friend was. I used to be the one suggesting we do stuff, or just going along to do something but not gaining anything from the friendship. I always gave my 100% but only received 50%, which took me so long to realize just how wrong it is.

This summer, being my last summer at home, I have realized that I have no friends. I'll admit, I did cut off 95% of people from high school because either we didn't talk, they bullied me, and/or we just grew apart. That 5% showed their true colors this summer. It made me realize that my life is not in New Castle, Pennsylvania. Nobody sent me texts asking to hang except for two people, but we just aren't close anymore which is okay. Life is all about change.

I mean, I am the girl who cried on her way moving back home for the summer. At the time, I thought it was because I was dreading having surgery. However, now I realize it's because my life is in Philadelphia. It really is where I belong.

It's where I have people texting me and saying that are excited to see me.

It's where I already have a jammed pack first week back on campus because I miss being productive and surrounded by people who are just amazing human beings.

It's where I created so many amazing, crazy memories my first year that shaped me into the person I am today.

It's where the best version of myself is because I am surrounded by so much positive energy.

It's home.

I never expected to have gained best friends who I could seriously envision being in my life for the long haul. I am so used to people walking out of my life that it still shocks me when someone says, "can't wait to see you soon!"

Temple University gave me a family and a place to call my own, and I will forever be grateful for that.