When I first left home and embarked for my first college, I remember my gut telling me something was wrong. There was very little I could do at that point, I had committed and I was enrolled in classes. So, I showed up for orientation. I met the other 60-something students (yes in the entire college) and started my semester. At first, I was in love. The people seemed great, the teachers were incredible, and I was in Los Angeles. What could be better? Then, everything started to change.

As I got to know the few people around me, I started feeling uneasy with my surroundings. My own bed didn't feel comfortable I and my family started to feel further and further away. The workload was way too light for college and my grades were much higher then they should have been. If I wanted to take a certain language class, it would postpone my graduation by a year (maybe more). There were so many empty rooms and so many issues with my surroundings that started to show their face as I got more and more settled in. About halfway into my semester, I knew I was going to leave. This very thought terrified me, where would I go?

I remember sitting and wondering if I could force myself to stick it out. Maybe things would get better. Maybe I would meet some amazing people and make some great friends outside of this college. As time passed, however, I found myself getting more and more miserable, feeling more and more alone. Once I felt my mental health starting to slip, I started to devise a plan as to how I would go about leaving this college in the most efficient way possible. Here's what I did:

Within the college I was at, I started to wrap things up as well as I could. I left the job I had found in LA on the best terms possible and slowly cut ties with the people around me. After my last final, I crammed everything into my car and left. Everything felt very final but as I drove away, my life and my path started to clear up. I just felt more free and more myself then I had since I had moved to LA.

Once I was back in my home state, I moved back in with my parents for a semester. I don't know what this ridiculous stigma is about moving back in with your parents. I got a lot of questions like "Well don't you think you should get your own place" and "why are you burdening your parents like that". I understand not everyone has the privilege to go back to their parents after they move out. I am blessed that my family welcomed me back with open arms.

I immediately enrolled in a local community college to finish as many general education courses as I possibly could as quickly and as easily as possible. I took fewer classes at community college then I did at my first college and I had almost three times as much work. But, it was completely okay because I was already so much happier. I also was able to find two great jobs and work a lot. I saved a bunch of money, made some great local connections, and made some really amazing friends.

Finally, at the start of the following fall semester, I went through the transfer orientation process and officially became an Arizona Wildcat. I have to say, I really found my place here. I found the perfect major for me, an amazing group of friends, my mental health has continually gotten better, and my relationship with my family has improved significantly.

It can be ridiculously scary to transfer. I remember that feeling very well. But, since transferring, I have never felt more myself. When in the right environment, it is so easy to not only live but to thrive. I have grown and flourished, matured and developed into someone I am proud of. I don't think I would have been able to become the person I am and the person I want to be if I had stayed where I was originally. From university to university, it can be really hard to find the right place. Transferring was the best thing I could have done.