Growing up, we are told that our college days will be the best days of our life; that those four years will open our eyes to worlds we never imagined, allow us to create lifelong bonds with the greatest of friends, and that we will not only leave a piece of ourselves on our university’s campus, but we will also walk away forever filled with the memories that our dream school gave us. Yet sometimes, we find that there is a disconnect between what we thought our dream school would be, and the reality of what it is. It is during this dilemma that we are presented with the thought of letting our dreams go and suffering through our remaining college years, missing out on what we’ve dreamt our whole lives of experiencing at university, or we can make the risky, yet extremely rewarding decision to hold onto our dreams, and simply change the destination.

It was exactly two years ago that I myself was faced with this very dilemma: I could either stay at my university, knowing that my unhappiness and lack of worthwhile experiences would continue throughout the next three years, or open my eyes to the possibility of transferring to another school. I chose the latter, researched and visited campuses, and I can confidently say that choosing to transfer to Saint Joseph’s University and becoming a Hawk was one of the best decisions that I have ever made.

Starting all over again was extremely frightening, yet SJU not only made the transition stress-free, but also completely eased my mind of all potential worries;.I wasn’t concerned about making friends as I was placed in an environment that made it easy to meet people; I wasn’t concerned about my classes as each and every professor was more than welcoming; and I wasn’t concerned about being away from home because SJU truly became my home. Almost immediately after arriving on campus I rushed Alpha Phi, joined Habitat for Humanity, became a member of the Biology Club, established connections with my professors that enabled me to start a research project within the following year, and began volunteering at multiple locations throughout the community, such as the Philadelphia Red Cross and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. None of these opportunities would have been possible if I hadn’t had the courage to change my path and transfer to SJU.

In only two years, I have made countless memories, have been blessed with opportunities that will launch my career, have gained a deeper understanding, appreciation, and raw curiosity of the world we live in, and most importantly have been surrounded with such incredible, amazing women that I am blessed to call my best friends. This campus hasn’t just provided me with an education that will shatter glass ceilings, but it has truly given me the building blocks of life and provided me the capabilities to be the best me while living my very best life.

I am so extremely grateful to have become a Hawk, and can without a single doubt say that Saint Joseph’s University is a diamond among rocks; a university that will leave you with not just a diploma, but also having accomplished every hope and dream that you had for your college years. The best advice that I can possibly leave you with is to live your life without shaking or giving in to fear or doubts, and when presented with a dilemma similar to mine, stand strong and refuse to give up your dreams, and instead simply change your destination.

Lexie Zimmerman ’20