The pressure of making a decision that will change the rest of your life at 17 years old can be quite daunting. When I was looking at colleges I wasn’t really sure where to start. So many questions seemed like factors that it was overwhelming. Sometimes, we make decisions and are confident in them only to later think we made a mistake. Almost everyone I know has, at one point or another, questioned whether this school is the right school.
My big moment of questioning everything happened the summer after my freshman year on my way home from New York City. The first time I visited NYC I was 17 and had just graduated high school. I instantly fell in love and new that I had to live there at some point. I visited two more times after that, and the feeling only grew. The most recent time I was there made me question basically all of my choices. I was still feeling uneasy about Miami and I loved the city so much I never wanted to leave (funny story: before I applied for any schools I considered moving to Manhattan to pursue singing and acting. I had an apartment picked out and everything!).
So I was sitting in the car driving back home with my family and decided to apply to NYU as a transfer student. If you know me at all you’ll know that I never do things spontaneously like that. I should also mention that going to school out of state just wasn’t in the cards financially for me. But, I did it anyway. A month later I was heading back to Miami, optimistic that sophomore year would be better than freshman year was. Thankfully, it was immensely better. Looking back I think about all of the things I would’ve missed if I did decide to transfer. I still want to live in NYC, but I would’ve missed out on so many friendships, opportunity, and growth.
I sometimes imagine what my life would be like if I were in New York. And sometimes I still have moments of wondering whether I made the right decision or was just too afraid to take a big leap. Either way, I know that what I’ve gained by staying has made just about every doubt disappear.
I think questioning choices is natural. Especially when it’s at a time in your life when everything is a little uncertain and everything is changing. Many people question and act on that doubt and are better off for it. Others ignore it and push on and still have amazing experiences. My advice is to ask yourself one question: what do I want my life to look like in 5 years? Then, decide where/who/what will get you there. It’s okay to be uncertain (something that is hard for me to grasp), but if you always try to make the best of whatever situation you’re in I’m confident you’ll end up where you want to be.