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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UVM chapter.

By: Samantha Romano 

“I’m transferring to Syracuse and never f*cking coming back,” I texted my mom during the last few weeks of the spring semester. 

Melodramatic, right? I would agree with you in most cases. The chaos of my freshman year would drive anyone to the point of insanity. Most freshmen can attest to the fact that strange experiences are a part of growing up, but my experiences set me back before ever contributing to my personal growth. 

Mono had left me bedridden for the second half of the spring semester. Before that, a nasty breakup (which was really a blessing in disguise) left me heartbroken. The rest of the year was littered with unnecessary drama, roommate issues, and mental health struggles. Let’s just say circumstances got so complicated that I would’ve run back to Syracuse barefoot just to leave the inescapable bubble known as Burlington.

Coming back in August was a risky decision. Summer, although, gave me time to go through a self-metamorphosis but the biggest test of strength was the transition from summer into the school year. The first few weeks of school are always nothing short of stressful, but I was ready. 

Sometimes we set ourselves up for false expectations. My false expectation was that the transition was going to end terribly simply because part of me was still scared that I made the wrong decision by not transferring closer to home. Not only did everything go flawlessly, I fell in love with UVM again. 

My realization began on the way back from classes. I’ve walked through the Waterman Green hundreds of times before. It’s really nothing new to me. Although, anyone with eyes would conclude that the views from this green may be the best campus has to offer. I never fully appreciated it past the point of occasionally describing it as “pretty”. My dismissive attitude kept me from realizing how truly beautiful the scenery is. It’s like walking into a postcard!

I used to hate the type of person who whipped out their phone while commuting just to take a picture of the scenery. Although soon my camera roll became so filled with candid photos of nature that my storage ran out! Was I superficial for photographing anything beautiful that caught my eye? Freshman year, I would’ve said yes. Now I just say I’m taking it all in! 

The reality was that I began to fully appreciate the environment around me. The University of Vermont gives us the rare gift of being able to learn in an academic setting while being surrounded by some of the most beautiful nature out there from the beauty of the mountains to the sheer amount of greenery. The views of the mountains were enough to distract from the stomach aches caused by the food. All jokes aside, learning how to appreciate even the smallest of things taught me and brought positivity into all aspects of my life. 

Obviously, the beauty of campus itself didn’t make me regain my love for UVM. I attribute my successes to putting myself out there more. Seeking discomfort can lead to possibilities you’ve never imagined. I’ve been blessed with some amazing opportunities (including rushing Theta!). 

Being afraid of change is expected as young adults. We have plenty of life experiences under our belts, but accepting change is a lesson only taught through time. As a freshman, change petrified me. I coped by clinging onto my past as much as humanly possible. Every failure of my freshman year forced me to process some sort of transformation. Unknowingly, it was the world’s way of easing me from a timid child to a healed person separate from her past. 

Healing has given me the emotional capacity to truly appreciate how lucky I am to be a UVM student. I am beyond grateful for every memory I made, every person I met, and each lesson learned. This year has so much left to offer and lucky for us, it’s only just begun!

Edited by Sierra Byrne

Hi, I'm Samantha! I'm a PCOMM major at the University of Vermont! I typically write opinion pieces but am excited to explore topics of fashion, lifestyle, and so on!