Growing up I always had a perfect life. Two parents who loved me, all the friends in the world, and not a care in the world. I'd stay out late, or not even come home, I'd disobey my parents all the time, and I'd never do homework but still kept a 4.0. It was a life that most wanted, and I was lucky enough to have that. However, that all changed when I got to college.

It was a gorgeous August day when I moved from Tennessee to Georgia. The birds were chirping, the sun was blaring on my skin, and the smell of freshman moving into their dorm filled the air. I was in the places I wanted to be, but that wouldn't last for long.

After I was all moved in and ready to start classes, I began to freak out. I was in a place where no one knew me, I had no friends, and I wanted to have my parents giving me rules again. I would wake up every day and count until the next time I went home. I would just want to crawl back in bed. The only joy I had was eating.

This lasted for several weeks until my mom had a not-so-fun speech. She told me I needed to realize I am an adult now and life wouldn't be the same no matter where I lived. She told me to take each day with a smile and start reaching out to people in my classes.

Because of this talk, I began to try and make more friends and turn my life here into what it was at home. I started joining clubs and staying out of my dorm. I began to grow up and make young-adult life decisions.

Moving away to college taught me how to step up and not be a child. It taught me to reach out to people, to make decisions without my parents guiding me, and how to be mature. I couldn't run and hide from my problems and school work anymore. It taught to time manage, to handle stress, and to always make sure to never let my emotions get the best of me.

Moving away to college taught me all of this, and I am sure that if I stayed in my hometown and went to UTK, I would have never gotten these lessons so early.