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Why Going to College 1,000 Miles Away was the Best Decision I Made

My senior year of high school, I was so excited to leave my hometown and go to college. I had always wanted to go to a university  in California, but wasn't sure if I would be accepted into one. In November, I had received acceptance letters from colleges in Arizona and Colorado, my home state, but was starting to feel doubtful about the California schools I applied to. In December, I decided to commit to Colorado State University (CSU), and a few days later received my acceptance from San Diego State University (SDSU). I was so happy that I was accepted by my dream school, but suddenly felt anxious about being so far from home. I soon realized that going to college was already scary, so I might as well go to college somewhere I love.


My first semester was full of nerves and stress, but was so much fun. I lived in a suite-style dorm with eight other girls, which was quite an adventure. Forcing nine random girls to live together in a small space was not the best, but definitely made me stronger. The best thing to come out of living in the suite was finding my best friend. For a while, I felt alone and wasn't sure if SDSU was the place for me. I realized that I wouldn't feel that SDSU was the right for me if I didn't put in the effort to find my place. I joined the hall council in my residence hall and Best Buddies. After getting involved, I started to feel more at home. Second semester, I joined a sorority and found my people. I was enjoying college more and felt that San Diego was my second home. My first year of college was filled with ups and downs, but taught me so much about myself.


My third semester was definitely the hardest. I was a Resident Advisor (RA), Social Media Director for Best Buddies, and a sorority member. I met so many amazing people and started to feel like the best version of myself. I struggled significantly with my mental health which made going to school a lot harder. However, I was able to make the best memories, which made the semester worth it.


Each semester, I find new interests, new friends and new experiences. I have found my voice, my passion for helping others and an eagerness to learn. I have applied for leadership positions, which is something that I never thought I would do. I met my best friends who I can't imagine doing life without. Going to an out of state college has forced me to leave my comfort zone which prompted the tremendous growth I've experienced so far. I wouldn't have had the friends and experiences I have if I ended up going to an in-state college. Challenging yourself always leads to the best adventures, and I'm so happy that I challenged myself to leave my hometown life behind and create the life I was meant to live.