As we approach Thanksgiving, I can’t help but think about what it is that I’m grateful for. I am grateful for my faith, because without God, I would not be standing here today; I am grateful for my family, because it was their prayers that brought me this far; and lastly, I am grateful for my campus friends, because I would not have made it without them! I cannot stress how important it is to establish authentic and genuine friendships while away at college.Your friends from back home are irreplaceable and those friendships should be cherished because they too, played an important role in your life. However, I promise it will not compare to the relationships that you will create with the people you meet on your college campus!

I chose to go out of state for school and it was the best decision that I have ever made. Looking back on who I was when I first arrived at Old Dominion University and comparing it to who I am now, I cannot help but thank my friends who walked with me, encouraged me and even sometimes cried, with me along the way. Attached are pictures of me and my friends from freshmen year, to now. This village that I created for myself, sympathized with me when I say I am exhausted from pulling an all-nighter, and understood the joy that comes after an assignment has been submitted or an exam has been completed.

The memories that are made on your college campus will live forever. From late night walks to student centers to get food, to early morning to grab the campus shuttle, and all of the in betweens.

These relationships will require that you let your guard down; it is important to be open to new people and experiences.  Regardless of if you chose to stay in-state or go out-of-state college is where you can reinvent yourself, choose your campus friends wisely. You will need them to help you get through. Show yourself to be friendly, and you will make friends 🙂