Sometimes we change over time and realize how simple a solution can be to a difficult concept. When I was in high school I didn’t understand why someone would consider moving out of their home after graduation.
“All of my friends are already here!”
“I’d be too scared to move somewhere where I don’t know anyone!”
“I’m already so involved in where I live now!”
“I’ve never lived far away on my own.”
These are common thoughts in what goes through a person mind- to rationalize the fact that they don’t want to try moving out somewhere new. When you’re 18 years old, you may feel on top of the world. Your local community awards you for all of your accomplishments, and you relish in the fact that all of your hard work has paid off.
You also have the protection of living under your parents home. You’re in a safe comfortable environment you’ve grown accustomed to. You’re right, why would you want to leave and start a new chapter in your life?
I’ve been there before. I didn’t want to go to college across the country because I didn’t want to leave all of my friends behind. The reality of graduation after high school, is that people will inevitably change. You’ve dealt with this before, but you may not have noticed it. Remember how in Middle School you were so attached to your peers that you knew in maybe 6th, 7th, and 8th grade? Isn’t it not true that you and your friends drifted apart? Can you look back and realize how you found your own separate group of friends once high school started? This will happen again after you graduate high school. Your friends will go to college all across the country, and some people may go out and join the military. A lot of your peers may just stay put at home. After high school, moving out of your parents home is necessary. Everyone develops their own life plan as their path begins to unfold.
Moving out is your decision to leave the family nest. You may throw yourself into a state of shock because it’s something you’ve never done before. I almost backed off at my opportunity to study and train in NYC, but my Uncle and Aunt stopped me. They knew that it would be best for me to move far away from my small town. I didn’t see it back then, but I understand their thought process now. You’ve got to take the chance of moving out and going far out of your comfort zone. You’ll face moments where you’re paralyzed with fear, and how don’t see why you should go live on your own. You can’t give in to this mindset, it’s holding you back. When you decide to take the leap, the following will happen:
You’ll gain invaluable perspective.
You need to change the scenery if you want to understand the world more. When you go out and live in a new place, it’s frightening. I won’t lie to you and tell you that it’s an easy thing to do. It’ll be weird at first adjusting to a new environment, but the benefits are tremendous. You’ll be able to measure up your own life experiences with the different kinds of people you meet from all over. You’ll reflect on the culture back home, and you’ll appreciate family time more.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to have a perspective different from everyone else back home. Naturally, to accomplish this, you need to go far away from the house that kept you safe for 18 years. I’ve met dozens of people from all over the world. I’ve met floor mates and roommates from different states and countries such as China and France. I’ve shared conversations with different people about what their home life was like. I was surprised to see that a lot of people were hesitant about moving out just like me. At the same time, I thought to myself: “If this person can move all the way from Europe, Asia, or Australia, etc. than a move to the other side of the coast is nothing compared to that!” I learned the value of perspective. A lot of people moved into a new country for school, without barely being able to speak English. Their travel time back home would be somewhere along 12-5 hours, while mine was only a 5 hour flight back to California.
You develop self-reliance.
You need to get away and live your own life. What better way to do so by jumping right out of your comfort zone and learn by living it? You can read a bunch of similar articles like this, telling you to leave your home and go out and explore-to travel. Nothing will change until you actually bite the bullet and do it yourself. Your familiar friends and family won’t be there to tell you what to do or how to survive. They’ll offer you advice if you ask from afar, but you’re the one making the final decisions. Get out there and make some mistakes, laugh at yourself and have fun while you do it. You’ll grow and change for the better the next time you visit home.
Before college, I’d never been to New York City. There were plenty of moments in my first year where I was clueless about the subway system, too friendly with scam artists on the street, and just simply not knowing how to survive in the city. Through all of my mistakes, I realized that the city made me tougher and developed my street smarts. You can’t learn how to handle the real world if you stay in the same place you grew up in all of your life.
I lived in a small Southern California town all my life. The place was like a bubble because of the family friendly atmosphere, and the quiet lifestyle/nightlife. I suggest that when you move far, go somewhere in an environment that you’ve never been in before. My home in California is far different compared to the hustle that NYC has to offer. There are far more opportunities for growth in my opinion. This isn’t to say that my home is bad, but it was fulfilling to realize what else was out there. Moving out changed my perspective on the world for the better.
In the midst of college deadlines, I asked my friend Ben for advice on whether or not to stay in California for college, or go out to NYU. It was an immediate decision for him, he told me “why would you want to leave California?” We both lived there for a large part of our life. I believed his words, but in the end I stuck with NYU. Now, two years into our college careers, I received this text message from him:
Ben chose to stay in California. We were going to be at the same University if I didn’t choose NYU. He added on how the school location he’s at is “like a bubble.” These were the same words my Aunt and Uncle told me when I was hesitant between my two school choices. My high school self would’ve sided with Ben’s words: “why would you want to leave California?” On the other hand, my current self argues that you should challenge yourself to move far from home. My high school self was unsure about going far, but this was simply because I had never done so in my life. With my new experience, I now understand that I shouldn’t have been afraid of anything.
If you’re going through a phase where you are hesitant to move far, and the opportunity is there- know that there are immense benefits in following through with this decision.
Plan it out. Take the necessary steps to make it happen, and then work your plan. Don’t make in irrational decision to go far without a plan. You obviously should be money conscious about this. Complete your scholarships, work hard in your job…if everything is set and ready and you’re just hesitating to make a change. You’re just cheating yourself.