Deciding on a college is a very stressful, but also a very rewarding decision you get to make. Everyone has their own wants in a college from a big school to a small school or wanting a public or a private school.

One big factor everyone thinks about long and hard is whether to stay in their home state or go out of state. After going through one semester at an out of state school, far away from home, I can confidently say, I made the perfect choice for me.

Everyone loves where they grow up — it's where most of their childhood memories were and the memories will always be in that place, your hometown. There is something about a hometown that brings joy and the feeling of being content.

Another common feeling about a hometown is safety and security. Most people spend 18 years in their hometowns and then make the choice to stay or to leave. Spending 18 years in one place will make you comfortable and secure. The thing is, life is about challenges, discovering yourself, and finding what you were meant to do.

If I stayed in my home state for college, I don't think I would be able to discover the real me.

I imagined myself talking to the same people from high school or driving along the familiar roads around my hometown. I didn't want to feel stuck, stuck in a place I already knew about. I needed to go somewhere else I could explore and call a new place home.

I know some people want to stay in their home state and be close to home, trust me I totally get that. There is something about the familiar that people like, but for me, that just isn't what I wanted. I wanted to meet all new people, experience new culture, and discover something new about the new state I picked to live in.

Going out on the weekends to the closest historic house, beach or cool new restaurant is what I wanted. I wanted a challenge, and that is what I got. I dreamed of getting lost in the city I picked and I didn't want to know where I was going. There was something that inspired me about starting over, starting fresh.

College is for finding our true self and discovering what we actually want to do with our lives. Even though it was a huge leap of faith to move across the country, it was what I needed to do to be the best version of myself.

I thrive in new surroundings and discovering more about my dislikes, likes, fears, and wants in life. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to find a new place to call my home. I would have never met the people I met and call my best friends and my "sisters" if I didn't go out of state. Everything happens for a reason.

I will always cherish my hometown and my home state. I will always love the comfort and security of my home and I will be visiting over breaks and the summertime. But now I have two homes and I couldn't be happier.