This is how my friends deterred me from transferring without even knowing it.

I started my freshman year in January of 2016. I came into college only knowing a handful of people that I had met at orientation the summer before, but besides my roommate, everybody I had met lived across campus.

Even though making friends in college might seem tricky at first, soon enough you will have friends for life. PHOTO COURTESY RAYA SHARBAIN

Even though making friends in college might seem tricky at first, soon enough you will have friends for life. PHOTO COURTESY RAYA SHARBAIN

It was definitely not easy to live on a floor of people who already knew each other and had some solid friend groups already established. I had had the same group of friends from back home for several years and the adjustment period of going off to college definitely took a bit longer than it did for most of my other friends. During my semester off, I watched some of my best friends move away to college, some of my other friends were still in high school, and I was stuck working at a sandwich shop.

Until college, I had never been away from my family for more than a few days, except for one week I spent at sleep-away camp. I was homesick for a good portion of my first semester and I wasn’t entirely sure how to deal with it. I went home almost every single weekend — and that probably played a huge role in why I felt isolated. Family has always been important to me, so the fact that they were only a short bus ride away was comforting.

All of my friends back home knew that I was considering leaving Boston University, but they all encouraged me to stick it out for a little bit. I weighed the factors of coming from such a small hometown to such a large university, the fact that I started a semester late, and the fact that I missed my family immensely. I never really researched other universities that I could potentially transfer to, but there was always a thought in the back of my mind about how different my life would’ve been if I had gone to another school or started in the fall just like the typical college student does.

I spoke with my home friends and my parents about how I was feeling and a very common theme among conversations was the idea that my home friendships had years to grow and my new ones had only existed for a few weeks, so I had to be patient. There were friends that I made during the first few weeks of college who I no longer see and some who are my best friends right now.

I learned to be patient, listen more and push myself out of my comfort zone. I went out and I explored. I went to concerts — sometimes with friends and sometimes alone. I found out how to be comfortable with being alone and doing things for myself.

Now I’m sitting in my new suite with my wonderful suitemates, after having caught up with some of my pals in the library. These past two weeks of junior year have been so incredibly fun, eye-opening and heartwarming. I am finally taking classes that all apply to my major and I’m loving every second of them. I am so ridiculously thankful for all of my family and friends for being there for me, regardless of anything that they had going on. I was reminded that life is too short to be homesick and college is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that shouldn’t be wasted. I was patient and worked hard and despite all of the rough nights that I had, I am so happy that I decided to stick through it and stay in Boston.