Niagara’s New Girl

A little change might be all you need to find that you are where you belong

More stories from Lauren Kritter

Niagara’s New Girl

Fridays tend to be filled with early morning class followed by a double at my job, which doesn’t make me very excited for the weekend come Thursday nights.

Unlike most weeks, I was excited for Friday night to come.

My old roommates and I (I just call them friends now) had been preparing all week for the “Friendsgiving” we were having for the first time together since starting college.

We had picked items to prepare for the group. Since I was at work all day, my boss ever so graciously let me make my dessert on my break in the kitchen so I could have everything ready in time for our big feast.

I couldn’t wait until my shift was finished to head over to their house. My anticipation was so high that when I showed up I didn’t even care they were all dressed in their classy, Thanksgiving attire and I was sporting my ranch-stained uniform, forever stenched in the smell of kitchen grease.

I felt so happy to finally be with them and indulge in some home cooked food for once. That’s when I realized how much more I have appreciated them as friends ever since moving out of our house we used to share together.

Moving in with the guys was the refreshing change I feel was necessary to arrive at this point.

The change in atmosphere, shift of moods and the people I’m surrounded by have all played a part in my new outlook.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it has made me think just how lucky I am that signing a lease with a bunch of random strangers turned out so well for me. I had no idea what I was getting myself into and questioned my choice for months before actually moving in.

Taking a chance proved to be a good fit for me and became step one in the refreshing new start I needed as I headed into my final year of college.

According to a study done by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, out of 3.6 million U.S college students, 37 percent transferred at least once. You can assume most of these students had a reason related to their level of happiness at that time.

This also doesn’t take into account the number of students like myself who were unhappy but just never went through with a transfer, hoping that it would all just get better somehow.

Although I don’t think moving in with the guys is the only factor that helped me find happiness in college, I believe the new house was the kickstart I needed. I found my niche and grew into who I am today.

More importantly, I now appreciate my friends so much more.

The time I spend with them is actual quality time because we want to be spending time together, not just because we’re stuck living with each other. I come over to their house and feel happy to be able to spend a night with them. We got so used to one another’s company in our house last year that we stopped appreciating each other’s presence.

My friendships with them have become so much stronger in the past three months than they ever were during my first three years of college with them.

It’s truly a crazy feeling and shows making some changes in your life can help bring happiness and clarity to your struggles.

Although living with the guys has been a refreshing, good change, I can guarantee going back home to my parents this weekend will be the most refreshing feeling of all. Nothing compares to spending a weekend in your parents’ cozy, clean home after three months in your crazy college crib.