After that first attempt at a spell, there was something about magic that drew me in. I always enjoyed reading fantasy books with magic in them, and the better thought out ones with an actual magical system were even better!
Less than a year after that first spell, I headed off for college. For a while, I was much more focused on getting situated in this strange new place (it was my first time away from my family for any length of time) than on my craft. I found a local group who met in the library monthly and went to check it out. They were more about politics and working against the system than about being wiccan, so I never went back.
In this time I learned some shielding basics and expanded my book-learning of ritual and what it meant to be a wiccan. But still, I had very little contact with actual pagans outside of the books (remember, this was before the internet!).
While I was in college, I missed having a community. I started dating a Catholic, and went back to those religious roots (I was raised Roman Catholic). I did my confirmation studies, joined the church choir and tried to be Catholic for the man I thought I loved. It turns out that he didn’t really love me, and perhaps I didn’t really love him, and I didn’t really agree with much of the Catholic religion. But I did love the ceremony!
So by the end of my undergraduate career, I was very much sure that I was a pagan.
It wasn’t until many years later that I really started to focus on any kind of real training … but that’s another story.