The following essay was submitted by Randi Medley as part of our #Write2Win Contest. It was one of our favorite submissions, so she’s won a prize and we’re reposting it here.

iStock_000012166310SmallFirst, the college experience is different for everyone. Second, the college experience is what you make it. Many seniors in high school know their major, their dream school, and have a plan for the future. They apply to their dream school early and, pending acceptance, send in their depots and are done before February. I was not this senior.

I applied to colleges with a 2.3 GPA having no clue where I wanted to go to school or what my major would be. I applied to nine colleges under either psychology or undeclared. Luckily I was able to get into all nine of the ones I applied to. But come the end of April, I had one month until graduating high school and still no idea where I wanted to go to school. Frustrated and eager to make a choice; I chose to attend community college until I was able to better sort out my plans.

I enrolled at community college for the fall of 2011 as a full time psychology major. Over the next two and a half years I dropped my major and took as many classes in any topic I could. Through taking business, biology, statistics, psychology and nutrition classes I earned my associates degree in liberal arts and sciences. Despite this, I still did not know where I wanted to go or what to major in.

Come the fall of 2013 and it was time for me to choose a college to transfer to begin earning my bachelor’s degree. I kept my list short; touring only four colleges instead of nine as I had done before. I toured three and did not like any of those choices. As a last resort I toured the fourth college and once I saw the campus I knew that was the school for me. It was smaller and in a remote location, two things I have always wanted for college.

Still unknowing of my major, I met with a career counselor to help me figure it out. Although she was helpful with helping me choose a direction; I was still not sure of a specific major for me. It was then I saw a poster advertising Environmental Science. After researching the major somewhat I decided to apply with that major and luckily, was accepted.

Enrolling at this college for January of 2014, I enrolled in five classes for environmental science. I was in a new place, living on my own, and now completely immersed in a new major unknowing if I would even like it or not. Almost immediately I loved my major and all of my classes. I am now looking forward to each semester and all of the opportunities I have with environmental science. I was fearful that I had made the wrong choice many times, but in the end everything seemed to work out. It may have taken me a longer time than most but in the end I found the things that were right for me.