A place can feel like it is holding you back and making it hard to find happiness within that environment. Sometimes external factors can cloud how a place makes you feel, but there are several reasons someone may feel like they outgrew an environment, and it is time for a change. I started out at the University of Arizona, a school I committed to play soccer at in 2015, as a 14-year-old. A 14-year-old decided where she was going to spend her time from 18-22, seems like a great idea doesn’t it? Nope. Arizona began as a dream, I met new people every single day, was in the warm weather, had a fresh start 1500 miles away from home, and got to play soccer. I loved it. As the year went on, I loved all aspects of the school, the friends I made, but the soccer part became challenging for me. I was playing, but miserable on the inside. I remember telling my parents I wanted to quit soccer and just be a regular student. Nonetheless I strayed from that thought and realized that maybe it wasn’t what I really wanted. I wasn’t happy with how the team functioned, and it began to take the fun away from soccer for me.
My friends could see how this was weighing on me, and I went out to lunch with one of them to talk about what was going on. My mental health was at an all all-time low. I expressed my concern with how I was miserable in a place I originally thought was perfect. Her advice was to give it another year, or at least season, and if I am still not happy then to make a change. I ended up taking that advice and really gave it my all. Before I continue on, I’d like to say that I feel like everything happens for a reason within my life, whether that be to make me stronger, help me meet people I was supposed to meet, and learn from this situation.
That year, it began okay, I remember having a mindset that I was going back for my sophomore year but felt indifferent. The thought of leaving felt more appealing, but I pushed through in both school, soccer, and my friendships. The college was everything I could have asked for, I absolutely loved it more than anything. As the season went on, the school made me feel nauseous, I dreaded everything about the University. The loss of love for soccer I had from the soccer program clouded how I felt about the school and made me regret my 14-year-old decision.
I decided to enter the transfer portal, luckily, I had a really good support system whether it be my friends or family, everyone was behind me. I met with my coach and had a pit in my stomach, this would change everything, I didn’t know what I would say, how it would be perceived, and what would come next. All I knew was I wasn’t going to let anything change my decision, I was not happy, and didn’t want to continue at a place that made me unrecognizable to the girl I once was.
There is both good and bad in transferring, you get a fresh start, but every place has its positives and negatives. While I experienced many difficult moments that I looked at negatively at the time, in reflection I am able to find positives. Every environment has the possibility to shape you, if you let it, but don’t let change scare you, it is a special thing that helps us all grow into who we’re supposed to be.
Looking back, I absolutely loved my time at Arizona. It was a really special place. I’ve also noticed that those bad times I experienced begin to fade as time passes, and I have chosen to remember more of the good. I met so many special people, created exceptional memories, and had such a special college experience there. While I faced many challenges with my mental health, I wouldn’t trade that decision to experience my first two years of college there ever, it has made me exactly who I am today, and is a part of my story.
If there is anything I have learned, if something isn’t making you happy, an environment is holding you back, your mental health is at stake, look at making a change. That is the beauty of our lives, we could get up tomorrow and decide to make a drastic change simply because we can. Don’t let any sort of security from one place stop you from going to another. Mental health is so important where you live, and if an environment is part of the deterioration of it, then make a change.
If changing schools is in the thought process for you, and feels overwhelming, consider reaching out for help. Schedule a free consultation today!