During the incessant journey of the college search, there’s one question that is critical to consider in this life changing process: how far do you want to be away from home? Whether you’d rather be on the other end of the earth or just a short car ride away, it’s important to realize what kind of living situation is best for YOU. I made the decision to be far away from home and here's why.
1. Broaden my horizons.
No matter where you go to school, you will always meet new people, new professors, new environments and a new lifestyle. I personally wanted to go somewhere that would broaden my horizons and stretch me far past my personal comfort. I’m moving from Chicago to New York City. I know, I know. It's simply one city to another, but while both have fascinating similar exterior environments, they have drastically different interiors. I love my city, and I love where I come from. But I was ready to spread my sights across the horizon of this windy city into the apple of my eye.
2. Gain independence.
Throwing yourself out of your hometown can be terrifying. I can guarantee that sometimes I am terrified as well. However, this shock of independence helps the transition into being a full-fledged grown-up, especially when home is harder to get to. With today’s continually enhancing technology, it is becoming easier and easier to stay in touch with the ones we love, though no power of technology will ever surpass the feeling of physically being present. Yes, there will be nights where my stomach is just sick for home but getting through those nights will only sculpt me further into the strong, independent individual I have been preparing to be my whole life.
3. Gain responsibility.
This goes hand in hand with independence. Not only are you moving away from home but you are living away from home. That means doing your own laundry, putting the dishes away, maintaining a functional sleep schedule and so on. Even if mom is a simple phone call away, the benefit of living farther allows you to deal with the situation and tackle it head on. It causes you to appreciate your family more and diminishes the temptation to escape back home for the weekend. However, a visit now and then never hurts.
4. Get a fresh perspective.
Your home has been sculpted for your gaze as long as you’ve been there. That perspective has been tweaked and tuned, resulting in the comfort you have for it today. Shedding that perspective and smashing that reset button allows the opportunity to view a different angle of the world we all live in. By doing that, it will not only expose the newer sides but also similar ones you can confide in.
5. Ease the flight from the nest.
As your journey begins and your world is turned upside down, so is your parents'. They’ve lived with you your entire life. They’ve grown accustomed to your presence and soon it will no longer be there constantly. Whether you choose to move farther away or stay closer at home, it is beneficial to communicate with your parents about where you are looking. That allows them to stabilize the mindset of how far their child will be going.
6. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
If we were to compare our comfort zones to a cardboard box, the exhilarating newness of life lays right outside of it. To achieve the new beginning of your life, it is crucial to allow yourself to open those cardboard flaps and let in the light and air of the new world. Your comfort zone may end at moving out of the house or it may end at moving a state over. Maybe it doesn’t end until you’ve skipped across the pond? Nevertheless, taking that step that might scare you exposes you to the beginning of a lifetime. It allows you to explore a new part of the world. Create new friendships, see more sights and feel different senses. And it all begins as you take your first step out of that cardboard box you’ve inhabited your entire life.
Now, this article was mainly focused on my personal experience of wanting to leave home for school. However, there is no shame in wanting to stay close. When finding the right length of education for yourself, it is important to take a minute and ask yourself what YOU want to do. Everyone’s stories, situations, perspectives and backgrounds are different. When choosing how far to go for school, other factors may mix into it as well. Things such as finances, travel issues, opportunities or family needs are some, just to name a few. It is the beginning of YOUR life. Where you choose to begin it is in YOUR hands. Do not feel pressured or guilty for doing what feels right for YOU. Sail the sea, drive down the road, catch a plane or simply walk to where YOUR head and heart desires.
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