Everyone comes in to college with a different mindset. Some can't wait to leave high school behind. Some can't wait to escape their family and finally be on their own and some just want new and different experiences.
Me? I was all of the above.
In high school, I had friends, but I was never in the popular crowd. I floated from group to group. My best friends lived two towns away and I could only see them on the weekends. Also, growing up in a place where you have to look a certain way can be harrowing on someone who doesn't fit the mold.
Fairfield County, Conn. is a place where you pretty much have to look like a walking Lily Pulitzer or J.Crew model and I most certainly did not. I knew I wanted to leave Connecticut behind and start fresh where people could be themselves and I could finally be who and what I wanted.
I had to choose between Champlain College and Castleton State. My deciding factor was Castleton had sports. Champlain only had club sports and even though I had no sports knowledge other than horseback riding, I thought it was a very important part in a college career. I get thoughts once in a while wondering did I make the right decision? What would I be like at a big school? Would I have been better off at a different school or would I have a better chance of getting my dream job if I went somewhere else?"
Just days from graduation, I still have those thoughts. But honestly, I don't regret a single thing.
I had the opportunity to study abroad and live in London for nearly six months. Even though I'm lucky to go over there a lot because my mom lives there, having that opportunity allowed me to explore who I am and who I want to be. It forced me to get outside my comfort zone and try new things I didn't even know existed. I think that's what college is all about. Trying new things and stepping outside your comfort zone to find out what life can be about.
This college has made me who I am. Coming in to college, I was much heavier, wasn't comfortable with who I was, wasn't sure about anything, couldn't make a decision to save my life and I was a lot more shy.
I now have no issues talking to random people and strangers. I went down three clothing sizes. I am comfortable with how I look and who I am and I met some of the best people I have ever known.
I don't fully feel ready for the real world just yet, however. But I think these past four years helped prepare me and I learned a lot more than I realize I did. All the nights I can't remember, the good, the bad and the ugly, it has made these last four years the most incredible of my life and I wouldn't change it for the world