By Cassidy Campbell |

This time a year ago I was applying to Colorado State University, preparing to transfer back home for my last three years of college.

Leaving the beautiful state of Colorado and moving to Texas seemed glamorous my senior year of high school when college decision time rolled around.

Little did I know how hard this first year of transition would be.

Everyone said that the first semester of college is the hardest, but I took this with a grain of salt. I always saw myself as a light-hearted, easygoing and friendly person, so I didn’t think I would have any problems making friends and instantly loving my college experience.

Turns out, this was harder than I expected.

I saw my friends back home having what seemed to be a perfect first few weeks of college. Many of them rushed their sororities at the beginning of the year, so they had 100 “automatic” friends. While lying in my bed at 9 p.m. on a Friday night, I saw their posts out at parties with all their new friends and their weekend getaways to the mountains. I began comparing myself to them and wondering why I wasn’t having as much fun as they were.

I pushed through my first semester at Baylor, but I told myself that if I was as unhappy with my second semester as I was with my first, I would be transferring to Colorado State where I knew I would be back in my comfort zone.

During Christmas break I began to think that second semester would be like the flip of a light switch. I thought I would come back to Waco and suddenly find my place in college.

I came back for the new semester and soon realized that these expectations were not realistic. I was still having a hard time finding friends and around halfway through the semester, I was feeling very discouraged and became really hard on myself. I was constantly comparing myself to my other friends and started to regret my college decision. I tried to keep pushing through the semester, but I was still thinking about leaving Baylor.

Around the last month of school second semester, I finally started to find people who I truly wanted to spend my time with. They were people that I knew had my back, but it wasn’t until my sophomore year that these people really became my best friends.

It took me an entire year to find what I thought would happen instantly.

Coming to Texas was such a difficult transition for me, but I know that moving away from home allowed me to discover so many new opportunities. Leaving my childhood friends and my family ended up presenting many new lessons for me learn.

While this change seemed nearly impossible last year at this time, I look back on my college time and see so much growth in myself that would never have occurred if I had attended college in Colorado.

Now, a year later, I have realized it’s OK that it took me so long to find my place at Baylor. I was disappointed in myself for not finding friends quicker, but now I know that my freshman year was a needed time of growth and change for myself.

If I had stayed in Colorado, so many aspects of my life would be the same as they were in high school. I know that I most likely would have stayed best friends with my friends from high school, that I would drive home at least once a month and that I would remain comfortable never venturing from the same state I grew up in.