Those who know me best would never characterize me as a risk taker. I don’t ride rollercoasters, I refuse to drive when it’s raining and I go through bottles of Purell like it’s my job. I’m an insurance company’s dream client.

Transferring to Georgetown was therefore an unprecedented move for me.

After spending two years at my previous institution, I was comfortable. I had established a group of friends. I knew where to find the best vanilla lattes, and I was on a first-name basis with the nurses at the health center — which, for a hypochondriac like myself, should not be underestimated. But I still felt like I hadn’t found my fit. I took a huge leap of faith and put my trust into Georgetown in hopes of finding a university that I would be proud to one day call my alma mater.

As is inevitable with any life-changing decision, I encountered moments of doubt and fear in the beginning. Walking alone across Healy Lawn on my first day at Georgetown, I felt a sense of buyer’s remorse and wondered if I made the right choice.

But I convinced myself that it would be worth it. I incessantly repeated my cheesy mantra —“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” — until I believed it.

I started to join the clubs and organizations that I wrote about in my application essays. I let my walls down and made friends with students from countries that I had never heard of. I immersed myself in my classes and spoke to intimidating professors.

My fears gradually began to subside. Perhaps there’s an element of truth to the whole positive mentality spiel that psychologists everywhere espouse.

The other day, in an attempt to procrastinate in new ways, I read through my Georgetown transfer application essays. The banal cliches, implicit begging and just utterly ridiculous statements are pure gold. I actually wrote that I wanted to attend a university where I could “unleash my inner Socrates.” It’s safe to say that I will never let myself live that one down.

But aside from inducing a much-needed laugh amid the stress of upcoming finals, reading the essays gave me a sense of overwhelming contentment at the realization that most of what I wrote — if not everything — has already been realized in my short time here.

I do, in fact, attend a university where learning occurs beyond the classroom walls. I’ve learned more about myself — about my passions, academic interests and personal preferences — in these past few months than ever before.

I attend a university where people don’t treat me like I’m just a number, a cookie-cutter student who’s only good for a tuition check. Instead, I feel like an integral member of the Georgetown community, whether at a professor’s office hours or while sporting an “I Bleed Hoya Blue” T-shirt at Verizon Center.

And finally, I attend a university that is profoundly better than its publications make it out to be. It would be impossible for a brochure or website to even begin to capture the Georgetown experience.

In one semester, Georgetown has exceeded my expectations.

I used to view college as a “get in, get out” kind of thing, good for nothing more than a validating piece of paper that I’ll only use to land my dream job. But after spending a few short months on the Hilltop, I’ve realized just how mistaken I was. The invaluable lessons I’ve learned here go beyond what can be conveyed on a resume or diploma.

I’m finally having a formative college experience that comes from both personal initiative and a fitting environment. Georgetown is the latter for me.

While walking past Healy Hall, I often find myself stopping abruptly to admire the sheer beauty of our flagship building. Remembering how lonely I felt on that first day standing in that same spot, I know how far I’ve come.

I can now say that although it certainly wasn’t easy, transferring was undoubtedly the best decision I’ve ever made.

I probably won’t be skydiving anytime soon, but maybe I’ll start taking risks — albeit well-calculated ones — a little more often.

Sheeva Nesva is a junior in the College.

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