High school relationships can be great. They can be more than great. They can be exhilarating, passionate, caring, stable.

But there’s a reason I left mine back in high school.

I had known since April that unlike all of my friends, I would be attending college halfway across the country. An absurdly expensive plane ride away from my family, an exhausting 14-hour drive away from my friends, and an entire time zone away from my boyfriend.

Although I knew it would be difficult being so far away, I also knew it was the right choice for me. I had gotten into one of the best schools in the country, a school that I knew would help me succeed beyond my wildest dreams. There was a massive range of clubs and activities I was interested in, a beautiful campus, and when I visited, I absolutely fell head-over-heels in love with the place.

Most people thought I was crazy for going to college so far away from home, and I understand why. Going to college is one of the biggest transitions we will ever have to make in our lives. It's the first time we're truly on our own, and it would be nice to be able to visit home once in a while. But, where we go to college is entirely a personal decision to make. Even with the distance from home, I wanted to go to Northwestern more than anything else.

College is about discovering our passions, learning to be independent, and shaping our futures. I didn’t want to admit it, but I knew my boyfriend would not fit into the picture. Ending our relationship was hard, to say the least, but also expected. In the end, I know I made the right decision.

When I first got to school, I had no idea what to expect. What to expect from classes, from professors, from all the new faces I was surrounded by. I was so concerned with making new friends, going out to the right parties, and making sure I would be able to handle my schoolwork that I found myself not missing my boyfriend. For the first time in nearly three years, I was focusing solely on me, and I loved it.

Being single has allowed me to focus on adjusting to college life without the feeling of guilt that I was neglecting my relationship. I have been able to totally focus on my education, and where my college career is going. I have created so many new, but also meaningful, relationships with people who I know will be a huge part of my life these next four years. Most importantly, I have been able to do all of this while discovering new things about myself.

All of these transitions to college have been such new and exhilarating experiences. I’ll admit it, it’s scary to say good-bye to a long-term relationship. Going off to college, many students want something to remember the comfort and familiarity of home by. But as important as home is, it’s just as important to remember that these next four years are about you. They’re about challenging yourself, questioning yourself, creating yourself.

So don’t be afraid to do all that, by yourself.