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Being the “New” Student During My Junior Year

todayMarch 1, 2017 3

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By Maria Martinez
Blog Content Contributor

I stayed in my hometown the first two years of college. I had a great scholarship, so my plan was to finish my undergraduate degree there. Everything was going perfectly well. I really liked my classes, I saw my friends every day, I had good professors, a cool job; there was nothing I could complain about. However, I occasionally felt that something was missing in my life. I wasn’t sure what that was, but I was determined to find it out.

One day, during a break, I went out to eat with some of my high school friends, who have all moved to different places in the country. They were all sharing their college adventures. New friends, new crushes, new jobs and I didn’t have anything exciting to tell them. My life was bland; I did the same things every day.

“When I finally submitted my application, I felt great.” Photo via applytexas.org

Transferring to another school hadn’t really crossed my mind until that day. I started to look at colleges which had the best Mass Communication programs in Texas, and I came across Texas State. I took the longest time to finish my ApplyTexas application; but when I finally submitted it, I felt great. I received the acceptance letter on March; however, my decision to actually leave was made two months before the fall semester started. Everything happened so fast!

I was scared but excited to start this new chapter in my life. Many thoughts came into my mind as I was buying stuff for my new apartment. I didn’t know anyone in San Marcos, what if I didn’t make any friends? I also didn’t know how to cook; would that mean I was going to starve to death or gain the freshman 15? Okay, not freshman 15 because I was not a freshman, so would I gain the Junior 18?

I am now in my senior year, just one more semester until I graduate and I couldn’t be happier. During these past two years I have discovered myself, I found what my true passions were. I never really knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, but ever since I got here, I have had plenty of opportunities to try a little bit of everything to know what I liked the most. I am more mature. I was very dependent on others, but living by myself didn’t give me the option to depend on anyone, but myself. Even my parents always tell me this. They’ve seen how much I have grown, and they are proud of what I have become.

Since I’ve been exposed to a whole new world, my entire perspective on life changed. I started to see how everyone has different views and opinions about literally everything. And I have met incredible people who don’t think the same as I do, but have taught me a lot.  Transferring was not an easy process. It took me some time to fully acclimate to my new school and life. I didn’t make new friends overnight. Almost everyone meets their college circle during their freshman year because of orientation and living in dorms. This semester, the first day I met one of my friends, she told me, “Why I hadn’t I met you! What dorm did you live freshman year?” But don’t worry, if you haven’t found many friends yet, you will eventually. Getting involved in organizations or working in school are great ways to meet more people.

Choosing a major and where you want to spend the “best 4 years of your life” feels like a great responsibility during your senior year of high school. I started as a business administration major, but I soon discovered that was not the path for me. I couldn’t work with numbers my whole life, what I liked was communicating my ideas to people. I don’t regret having stayed my first two years of college, but I am glad I took the leap of faith. It’s not an easy decision leaving everything behind and embarking in a new journey, but if it is what could make you happy, then why just don’t do it? I know it’s 2016 and we all are over this trend, but YOLO. Embrace change and new opportunities. I may have not taken the most traditional route, but it was the right route for me.

Featured illustration by Erin Garrigan.

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