Growing up I was a shy shy kid. I was not very good at making friends or holding a conversation with people. The idea of having to talk to someone I did not know always made my stomach knot up and a wave of anxiety come over me. I always relied on my parents to order my food for me, talk to teachers at school when I did not want to, and explain what was wrong with me when I went to the doctor’s office.

Deciding to go away to school was one of the hardest but best decisions I have ever made.

I knew I did not want to be that awkward girl in high school anymore. I wanted to be able to speak for myself, drive myself around (I used to be terrified to drive anywhere unfamiliar), and most of all I wanted to feel like I could do things on my own.

I knew it was time to grow up and get out of my comfort zone.

Coming to college, I have had many uncomfortable things happen, but that has helped me so much. I have learned to walk up and talk to people I know instead of dodging them, do my own laundry, go to doctor’s appointments by myself, and drive to places I would never have seen myself going.

I have learned some much about myself and gained a little bit of independence that I thought I may never have.

Going away for the college is the best decision you can make.

It helps you learn things about yourself that you could not learn if you were at home with your parents. Being away for school takes you away from things that are familiar to you, like family, friends, and your town. It helps you to learn how to become self-reliant which is something you do not learn in the classroom.

I encourage everyone trying to decide where to go to college, to step outside of your comfort zone and go to college somewhere you thought you would never see yourself.

Realize that your parents aren’t going to be there to help you with every little problem and learn how to solve them yourself.

Be confident to try new things and put yourselves out there.