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One of the most important things I’ve learned coming to Aquinas College is that we will never stop making decisions. Some decisions are wrong and others are right and we learn from each choice along the way. One of the best decisions of my life was choosing to stay at Aquinas my freshman year because it lead me to this beautiful Villa in Rome where I currently reside.

I am not one who gives up easily. However, when you are faced with sharing a dorm room with a person who makes you uncomfortable, thoughts of transferring may arise. When the situation got worse and confrontations spurred and “sub-tweets” were made about me I finally grew a backbone and stood up for myself. I know how I deserve to be treated and I will settle for nothing less. That is my hope for you to find that strength inside you because I have no doubt that you possess it. I left my home in Chicago to enroll at Aquinas College with positive thoughts where I knew not a single soul and, unbeknownst to me, I was walking right into a negative situation. You can’t foresee these types of things—they happen and they’re beyond your control. This kind of thing happens to a lot of people in college. You’re not alone.

If I can tell you one thing it gets better. Not many people know what to do in this situation and they can feel stuck. It took me exactly one week to figure out where I could possibly live to get away from this situation. When you want something so desperately, you will be amazed at the lengths you will go through to achieve it.

Residence Life is there to help you! Area Coordinators are pleasant and they care about you and your college experience enough to help you through this ordeal. Most importantly your experience will be whatever you make it to be so don’t suffer by staying in an uncomfortable situation. It doesn’t make you weak that you leave, it makes you stronger that you realize you don’t deserve to be treated badly by another person.

I moved out of the room second semester with the help of my friends at the time. I remember feeling so safe knowing that I had friends and family in my life who cared a lot about me enough so that they helped me carry all of my things into another residence hall.

Eventually you will find your people. It’s a given. It’s taken me three years to find the lifetime friends I have now. Studying abroad in Rome has filled my heart with an incredible amount of joy because I’ll find myself sitting on the community couches, taking a look around, and seeing all the smiles on my friend’s faces as they look at me—at each other—with love. I never thought I would be lucky enough to feel this happy because this is the exact moment I’ve been waiting my whole life for.

You have the power to make decisions that are good for you. Choose wisely!

Arrivederci for now!

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