Part of my Journey: Don’t Limit Yourself

During my early high school years, I planned on outlining my life around Vermont. After all, I had been living in New England my whole life. I grew up living on the Connecticut river in the small town of Lunenburg, Vermont. It was a cute little town with beautiful twisty roads (full of potholes for the genuine Vermont experience) and one gas station next to the post office. When I was young, my parents bought a beautiful house with a wrap-around porch on the river overlooking the mountains. The view from our living room would stun any photographer. They both owned their own businesses (carpentry and architectural design) and got settled in the area as they got to know more people. They both loved the area; we would go camping, kayaking, fishing, etc. It took me a long while to like Vermont. Since there weren’t many kids in Lunenburg, I picked up hobbies like road biking, swimming, and fishing. As I got a little older I went through some complicated health issues, which introduced me to my dream of studying biomedical sciences. I didn’t know whether I wanted to be a nurse, surgeon, or researcher yet, but I knew what my passion was. Little did I know, having a gut passion early in life makes the college process WAY easier.
Next thing I knew, high school came around and I had both teachers and advisors asking me what I wanted to do with my life. From the start, I knew I would go to college; there was never a question about it. My mind immediately started to sort through the colleges that were close by. I came to the conclusion that Dartmouth was my dream school (ha, I’d never get in there) and that I would most likely attend The University of Vermont, even though I really wasn’t interested in the college. I convinced myself that was the smartest decision both financially and location wise. I was keeping many factors in mind: staying close to my family, keeping tuition low, locations where I would get many scholarships, and staying near my long-term boyfriend. Logically my UVM plan was solid, I should be happy with it right? Why wasn’t I totally excited about it?
My plan switched when my Junior year came along while making my senior year schedule. I wanted to start college a little early by taking a biology class up at the state college during my senior year. Since the college was only ½ of a mile from the high school, I thought the opportunity was worth checking out. The only catch was that I would have to attend the school up the hill to keep the credits I would earn without having to pay for them. I thought, “How bad could it be?” and applied. I was fine with staying in Lyndonville for the time being; my boyfriend had become my fiancé soon before I graduated. I had gotten an apartment with him during the end of my junior year and was happy with our little home. Side note, the fact that we got an apartment so early was very useful during the college process as well. I was able to file as an independent and pay for my whole first year of college with financial aid and scholarships.
As I worked my way through my first year of college, I quickly found that the school I was attending may not be the best fit for me. Although I enjoyed the small-college vibe (1,200 students), they didn’t offer many of the courses that I wanted to take. The school also had financial issues that forced the university to unify with another state college. Overtime, I grew very unhappy with the people living around our apartment and with the instability of my school. When I tried to picture myself in the future, I couldn’t see myself in the Vermont area anymore. I felt claustrophobic by how small the town was and how there was very limited opportunity for my career interests.
I had no other choice but to sit down with my fiancé and ask, “If we were to relocate, how far would you be willing to go?”. He responded simply with, “How far do you want to go?”. That sparked a night of research. I typed many things into google: “best place to live in the US”, “Fort, Collins Colorado”. “best and cheapest medical colleges in Colorado”, “Colorado State University”. The pieces seemed to fit together like a puzzle. That night of research turned into on-and-off weeks of research. Suddenly I could see my future again. I pitched the idea of moving to Colorado to my fiancé. He thought about it for a few seconds, and responded with a shrug, “Sure”. Did I mention I have the best fiancé in the world?
This story now brings me to the present; here I am waiting to relocate with my best friend in August. I learned a very important lesson through this process; limiting your potential only hurts yourself. One mustn’t simply settle for anything in life because the change is difficult to deal with; whether it’s a relationship, living location, or school/job one is working toward. Embracing vulnerability and change will make chasing your dreams much less stressful. Who knows, you may get to where you want to go.

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