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Diving Head First Into My First Semester Away From Home


When taking a chance on something new and unfamiliar, we often calculate the risk versus the reward that the situation may yield. You might even find yourself asking, “what can I lose from this?” or “what can I gain from this?” We agonize over every detail in every circumstance in an attempt to see how it will play out in the end.

In every person's life, there are times when one must decide between the known and the unknown; between being comfortable and being uncomfortable. My entire life I grew up wanting the “normal college experience” at a big school with a football team. One that was traditional and had classes 15 minutes apart from one another yet when the time came to choose a school, I chose one with none of that!

(Photo: Joseph Whelan)

Last October, I took one of the biggest risks of my life when I verbally committed to attending LIU as a new member of the women’s swim team. Not only is it a Division I program, but the university has some highly qualified professors. Although the women on the team had been nothing but kind and welcoming over social media, there was still a looming fear that I had made the wrong choice. I was afraid that the city life was not for me or the campus would feel too claustrophobic, but still, I took the plunge.

To say that it has paid off would be an understatement. In the short time I have spent here so far, I have made friendships that I can see lasting a lifetime. I’ve explored the subway system more than I thought I would in my life and I’ve walked more places in a week than I did over my entire senior year of high school! I was even able to get up close and personal with Timothée Chalamet as he ran across Fifth Avenue. Still, I cannot say that it’s been all sunshine either.

View from The Edge Observation Deck in Manhattan, NY. (Photo: Charlotte Jones)

Moving away from my family has been the biggest challenge I’ve ever faced and some days are more difficult than others. However, this community here at LIU reminds me that I’m not alone and that I have people to lean on when times get hard.

Last October I chose to take a risk. I dove headfirst into being uncomfortable and living in the unknown and in doing so, I can wholeheartedly say I made the right choice. I look forward to my next adventure here at LIU and getting to know the people around me.

(Photo: Joseph Whelan)

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