Growing up I had always felt pretty comfortable with myself. I had amazing friends that always supported me and never made me question my self worth or purpose. I had a boyfriend all of high school that also really helped shape my view of self-worth, especially at a time when people struggle the most with this. Of course there were times when I would feel disconnected, disengaged and overwhelmingly vulnerable, but for the most part, I was generally confident and I feel extremely lucky for that.  

I always knew I wanted to go to college out state. I had the opportunity to do so, and staying in Oregon was never a realistic option in my mind. Although my senior year was my favorite year of high school, it was also the most difficult in many ways. Realizing that I was going to graduate, move away from my home and my friends, and start a completely new life was an exciting, but daunting idea. Being one of the most indecisive people you’ll ever meet, it wasn’t a surprise that I had an extremely hard time choosing the “right” college. I applied to ten big state schools and narrowed it down to CU Boulder and UW Madison. I had strong reasons that pulled me in both directions which made my decision process almost impossible. I ended up not being able to choose one over the other, so I decided to go to neither! Reluctantly, on decision day I decided to go to University of San Diego. All summer I felt unsure that I had made the right decision, because my mind was so set on a big, state school, and USD is the complete opposite. I think the whole idea of living in San Diego is what got me through the summer with a little bit of excitement to start college. After moving, my worries about going to a small, private school were confirmed immediately. I regretted my decision from the day I moved into my dorm. I ended up staying my entire freshman year, and I’ll admit that I had a great year. I ended up meeting a ton of really cool people that I still keep in touch with. I decided to make the most of being in such an awesome city, so I did a lot of exploring. I was able to go to Joshua Tree, LA, Coachella, all of the beaches in Southern California, and by the end of the year I felt like I knew San Diego by the back of my hand. It was bittersweet leaving San Diego, but I was so excited to start my new adventure in Colorado.

Moving to San Diego was a huge decision that tested my vulnerability. However, transferring to CU Boulder was an even larger move of uncertainty. Coming in as a sophomore was definitely risk, and there was absolutely no guarantee that I would like it better than San Diego. Freshmen year is so important to create friendships and find a routine. I was so nervous that I would feel out of place, because everyone already knows each other. I felt that I had really settled into my school in San Diego, and now I was going to start all over again. Luckily, one of my friends from USD was transferring to CU Boulder as well, and so we found an apartment on 12th and College to live in together. Being roommates with her made my year much smoother, because we were going through the transition together. She is from Denver and in a sorority, so I was able to meet some of her friends right away. Also, two of my good friends from high school were here at Boulder already, so that added extra comfort for me as well. red_sky_flatirons_boulder

Coming to Boulder as a transfer student put me in a very vulnerable position. I was concerned that I would feel disconnected and that would have an effect on my sense of purpose. I agree with the idea that a strong sense of courage is needed to fully embrace vulnerability, and I think my decision to transfer to Boulder was an example of that. I could not be happier with my decision to go to school here, and I truly believe that it is the right place for me to be!


7 thoughts on “Vulnerability

  1. Sara,
    Transferring is definitely a nerve racking and vulnerable situation to be in. I did not transfer myself, but my brother transferred colleges, so I know what it’s like to some extent. Knowing a few people can definitely help get over the hump. You made the right decision, thanks for sharing.

  2. Hi Sara! Thank you for sharing your story, I really enjoyed it. When deciding what college I wanted to go to, I too knew that I could not go to school in my home state as I needed to get out of there for at least a little while. I also found myself deciding between large state schools. I have always wanted to visit San Diego, and although you said you regretted going there soon after you arrived, it sounds like you made the best of your year there and it sounded awesome!

  3. Hi Sara! I’m actually from San Diego so it was really interesting to hear your opinion on the city. How do you compare it to Colorado? I also really enjoyed hearing about your transfer experience. I’m sure it can be really nerve-racking, but Boulder is a great place to transfer to!

  4. Hi Sara! I think it’s so funny that you were initially between UW Madison and CU Boulder because they’re so similar in terms of being college towns/greek life/school wise/etc. I also was between those two and also USD/SDSU and was super close to going to USD around decision day. I’m so happy that I chose CU and I’m happy that you finally found your right fit here!

  5. Hi Sara,
    Transferring does take a lot of courage. I also transferred to CU Boulder just a semester after you did. Starting over the process of making new friends in a new place is nerve racking. I too also already had friends at CU, but it still took courage to get adjusted to the new environment as every college is different. Taking that risk though really pays off and I’m glad to hear that it did for you too. I couldn’t be happier either!

  6. Hey Sara,

    I am probably one of the most indecisive person people meet as well haha, every little decision I have to make I turn it into an unnecessary dilemma in my head so I know what you mean when you say you had an extremely hard time choosing the right college for you because I went through the same thing but like you I couldn’t be happier with my decision to come here! Also really cool you got to enjoy San Diego and that area, definitely in my bucket list to travel through the West Coast and I am actually planning to go to Joshua Tree in Thanksgiving.

  7. Life gets better once you find “your people”, and “your people” can be anywhere, but you’ll never find that out until you put yourself out there. It sounds like you were able to do this. Coming to CU also put me a long way from home. Ultimately, I was able to find “my people” in both NROTC and the triathlon. Spending time with people who share your values and interests makes life more fulfilling.

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