Everyone goes off to college with a certain vision of how the next four years of their lives will go. I certainly know I did. I thought I was about to have the four best years of my life. I wasn’t completely naïve; I knew there might be bumps in the road but for the most part I felt it would be smooth sailing. Right? Wrong. Those bumps in the road turned out to feel more like mountains. If you were to tell me as a high school senior that in the span of three years I would be at three different colleges, have five different roommates, and five different majors, I would have been horrified. And yet, looking back, I truly would not change a single thing. Through my journey, I’ve learned that although climbing those mountains may have been tough, I learned so much on the way up.
Lesson number one: No matter how much you plan, nothing will ever go as planned.
It didn’t take me long to fall in love with my new school. Everything was going as planned, and I really thought I had a clear picture of how the next four years would go. By the time sophomore year came around, everything started to change. The main shift in my life was that I was really struggling with what I wanted to study. My heart was in a discipline that my current school did not offer. So back to the drawing board I went.
Lesson number two: True growth happens outside your comfort zone.
I did not want to transfer. Unlike many people who transfer, I was completely happy at my school. However, I knew that I should be at a school that offered the program I wanted to study, but I just felt so comfortable at my current school. I had to learn that sometimes you have to do what you need to do, rather than what you want to do. I didn’t want to transfer, but I needed to.
Lesson number three: You are always in control even if you feel like everything is out of control.
Imagine this—you just made the humongous decision to transfer schools, and you soon realize that the school you just transferred to is totally not for you. I couldn’t believe that I had just left a school that I loved to a school that I was miserable at. At a time that everything felt so out of control, I had to remind myself that I am always the one in control of my own life. I had made a huge mistake, but the important thing was to keep on moving forward. Last semester I entered my third school, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. I don’t know what my future will hold, but I do know that it won’t be like anything I plan.
Can you think of a time that you had to reevaluate a big decision you made and had the courage to start over?