Take the Leap

After applying to colleges out of high school, I didn’t end up where I wanted to be. I never got into my top choices and despite being disappointed in myself, what hurt the most was feeling like I let others around me down. All family, teachers, and friends were astonished as I rattled off the list of schools I didn’t get into. For a while, it was very difficult. I found myself equating my self-worth to an acceptance to a school that was all just a numbers game. I felt like those around me thought less of my value, because none one of us expected for me to fall so short. However, there was a silver lining. The last school I heard back from was Boston University. In the rejection letter, they offered me a guaranteed transfer for Fall 2018. The only real ultimatum was I had to go another college or university for a year. The question then became do I take the leap?

I had a completely negative mindset heading into my first semester at the University of Connecticut at Stamford. I chose to attend only because I knew instate tuition was cheap. I could still be close to home and my beloved NYC, and it was only temporary. Temporary. This word was a constant haunting that never seemed to leave my mind. What is the point of making meaningful connections if I might be leaving at the end of the year? What’s the point in getting involved? Just study and focus on that transfer. I hated the idea of this “transition year”. It felt like a pointless waste of time. I was already so upset and bitter about not getting in where I wanted. I have always been a firm believer in everything happening for a reason but that was completely dismissed as I felt like my world was falling apart.

After a very rocky transition, I began to see the light. No matter my situation, I needed to seek out some form of involvement, even if it was temporary. I craved human interaction to get me through the rough time I was having. I needed a friend. I started to join clubs and attend events around campus. I found passion in the courses I was taking. I created meaningful and lasting relationships with my professors. I became best friends with my roommate and met an incredible man whom I started dating. I found a job at a local coffee shop that took me into their family. Everything began to feel perfect – almost too perfect. Second semester, I took two junior-level courses that I was doing exceptionally in. I was actively participating around campus, and found my own community within Stamford. I clearly found my niche, but the comfort wasn’t enough. I wanted to be challenged. I needed to be challenged. The familiarity and routine I found myself in was too nurturing and kind, I wasn’t being pushed and given the rigor I desired from college. I found myself looking back at that guaranteed transfer. Take the leap.

Now, here I am.

Only a few weeks into my first semester at Boston University and I would be lying if I said I don’t think about the home I made in Stamford every damn day. There is so much to love and miss in that city, but I know Boston has so much more to offer me, both academically and personally, to help me meet my fullest potential. I haven’t quite found my niche here yet, but I’m learning to accept that it’s okay to not find myself right away. I don’t need to have everything figured out.

It’s human nature to crave routine and familiarity. We all want to feel at ease in how we live our day to day lives. However, the important message I’m trying to convey is don’t settle when you know there is more out there for you. As difficult as it was for me to leave the comfort of Stamford for the rigor of Boston, I know in the long term I made the right choice. Be content, but still find challenge. No matter where you are in life right now, this is your sign if you’re looking for it. Take that leap and go for it.

By: @natateaaa

#NatalieHeld #University #courage #therealher #freedom #learning #student #change

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