Changes happen. Sometimes they are good changes and other times, they make you cry or angry because you wished you could’ve done something different or made a different choice.

I remember making the decision to move to SF when I was a senior in high school. I was so eager to be able to finally branch out of my hometown and the small social circle that I’ve always had growing up. I anticipated that I would be in a completely new setting where I would be able to reinvent myself in a way, but I also didn’t factor in how different my life would be all together. Since then, good and bad decisions were made, new friendships were gained, and definitely a lot of transitions in my life.

First thing I learned about the city before I even moved here: housing is an extremely difficult task. All of the components it entails from finding a location, to good roommate(s), to convenience can give any regular person a massive amount of stress. Also, choosing who you live with can ultimately determine the environment you’re going to surround yourself with for at least a semester or until your lease is up. It took me quite some time to be able to find a living situation that I was happy to come home to. When I first chose a place, I wasn’t too particular about my personal space within the place and also who I would be rooming with. My logic was that as long as I had a place to sleep and a decent amount of space to store my clothes, everything else would fall into place. But it wasn’t as simple as I had originally thought. I soon learned that my home needed to be a place where I felt comfortable. It needed to be a relaxing space that I look forward to after a long day of work/school. Along with that, there are so many things that can go wrong when you’re sharing a room or house with someone. Communal spaces aren’t always kept clean, friends of others (whom you don’t know) may come over at any time, and it may be hard to find some alone time. I learned the hard way that it’s important not to compensate my private space and comfortableness. My living situation needed to be a space that I didn’t find myself constantly avoiding because I don’t like my roommates, it’s always messy due to my roommates’ habits, or etc. etc. etc.

Another thing I looked forward to in college was: FRIENDS. I was excited to open myself up to people in a new city. People who were just as eager as me to start college. People who were open and ready to make new friends just like me. High school wasn’t a completely awful experience for me compared to a lot of other people, but I didn’t really have a lot of friends that I was able to connect with on a deeper level. There were those that I have the same class with and we may have shared the struggle of completing all the assignments or studying for the hard tests, but, beyond that, there weren’t too many people who I felt comfortable enough around to share my daily thoughts or problems. I was looking for a new genuine friendship, but I guess my problem was that I didn’t start in the right place. Place is kind of a weird way to put it though. One can argue that friendships aren’t forced and they happen, sometimes, during the most random moments. But, for me, I became stuck in the position where I let my obligations dictate my friend circle. I was hanging out with people or friends of people I know within a social circle that only became smaller and smaller as the line between hanging out with each other because we wanted to versus being forced to became blurred. I guess what I’m trying to say is that true friendships are rare and sometimes commonalities between two people aren’t what make a friendship great. Being 100% comfortable around somebody and being able to share your thoughts without any judgment really aren’t things that can be bought in friends. I believe that friendships take time and old friends that have stuck around since so long ago can’t always be compensated for new ones.

When I look back at how far I’ve come since high school, I’m a little surprised myself. I’ve learned to say no to things that I’m not comfortable doing and to not conform to things I’m used to. I’m still trying to do school, work, and have fun. I don’t have everything exactly figured out yet and I have to admit, I’ve been a little selfish. Selfish in doing things for myself and working on improving myself. It’s been a while since I can say that I’m truly happy with myself and my decisions thus far. And there’s a lot more to come!