Roughly a year ago today I had just finished my first year of college and knew that I had no plans to return to the same University to finish my studies. But I also didn’t know where I was going to end up. I’d been accepted to multiple schools in the Northeast (I was originally in North Carolina at UNCA) but I had no clue which one would be right for me. I’d alreaday chosen wrong once, I didn’t want to do it again. Around this time I was spending my first days at home for the summer traveling around the Northeast with my mom to tour these schools that accepted me. I thought that I was going to end up in Maine, that was where my “top” school was. Then I toured Hofstra and I fell in love with the campus.
Transferring was probably one of the hardest decisions that I’ve had to make so far in life. I knew that I was unhappy at UNCA, that part wasn’t the hard part. It was hard to leave home after Christmas break, I gained far more weight than just the freshman 15, and I felt that I wasn’t being true to myself completely; hiding behind a false front of happiness and strength around my friends when there were nights that I would silently cry to myself that this wasn’t what I had expected this part of my life to be like. As unhappy as I was though, it’s still hard to decide to pick up your life and relocate it again after only a year. Even though an unhappy lifestyle, it’s still a lifestyle that you know to exist and there are people and aspects that you don’t want to leave behind, those happy things that had me at war internally with my decision and almost kept me at UNCA. Ultimately I chose my own happiness over all my other fears; will I even be accepted to other universities, what will my friends at UNCA think, will they feel betrayed, what will people think of me in general because I transferred?
It was a hard decision to make at 18 when I knew I’d messed up the decision once but ultimately I chose to pursue my own happiness instead of settling and it was the best decision. I’ve been incredibly happy here at Hofstra and I really feel that I’ve found my place and my footing in the world…at least for the moment; I still have two years before I have to pick up my life again and as far as I’m concerned those two years can take their sweet time getting here.
Knowing the mental process that I went through to get here and find my happiness has left me wondering how many other people are in positions like mine. How many people are out there living a certain lifestyle or letting one aspect of their life be defined by the fears of leaving the comforts of what they know? I’m going to guess a lot. It’s hard to make such a big decision but I just want to say from personal experience, the risk is worth the reward. I am so much happier as a whole and that happiness has spread to all aspects of my life.
Choosing to pursue my happiness instead of sticking with what was comfortable helped lead me to some of the best memories I’ve had the chance to make so far. I think that everyone should live their life for their happiness instead of in fear for change. Look at what it did for me and think of what happiness can do for your life.