Living in the same town for most of my life, it was a big deal when I decided to move from a small town in upstate New York to a booming suburb of a growing city 1,000 miles away from home.
I’ve loved every second of my new adventure (Yes, even the nights where I’m incredibly homesick,) and I’ve learned a few things I’m not sure I would had if I stayed close to my comfort zone in New York.
1. It’s ok to feel lonely sometimes.
That doesn’t mean it’s ok to give yourself a pity party of a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, and a whole season of That 70’s Show every night. Feeling lonely is normal, every one does it when they move away, and you just have to find things to occupy your time.
2. Losing friends, a lot of them, is part of life.
You quickly learn that when you’re not conveniently around for someone to call when they’re bored, you’ll most likely not hear from them again. That being said,
3. You appreciate the friends who keep in touch more than you did before.
I know in my case, only a handful of my “best” friends stood by my side as I started a new chapter in my life. Skype dates, care packages, and hour long phone calls have become routine in my life. Knowing someone is there for you, even when they aren’t physically with you, is an amazing feeling. You appreciate that much more than you would have when they lived 5 minutes down the road.
4. You learn what makes you tick.
I started college set on having a job in the medical field, because that’s what everyone told me I’d have good luck finding a job in. Eventually, after a failed semester and a lot of time finding something that made me happy, I found something that peaked my interest instead of the people back home whom I was trying to please.
5. You make new friends.
It may be hard, or easy. It could take a couple weeks, or a couple of days. You may meet some people that you don’t have much in common with, but you’ll also meet people who are practically your soul mates. These people will give make you laugh until your stomach hurts, have movie nights with you, and be there to offer a hand when you need it. They’ll remind you of your friends at home and that makes it all the better.
6. Your hometown will ALWAYS be your hometown.
It’s true that you never know what you have until it’s gone, even if it’s a dirty river or a gorgeous mountain lake. You’ll feel more pride for your hometown than you ever did while living there. Visiting takes a whole new meaning when you don’t get to see those familiar places every day.
7. New adventures are always right around the corner.
You’ll learn that life hits you with things you’d never expect, and to take chances while you can. Something could happen, like meeting your best friend from home in a different state for a vacation, and you’ll want to take these advantages as much as you can. Moving away is an adventure in itself; why not make more memories with more adventure?
8. You find yourself.
What better way to discover the things that make you happy, sad, or angry, than separating yourself from everything you know so well? Moving away opens your eyes to what makes you feel a certain way, and why.
9. Maybe, this is what you’ve always really wanted.
It’s tough, lonely, and exuberating all at the same time. Once you grow adjusted to your new surroundings, and break out of your comfort zone, you start to realize this is actually what you’ve dreamed of your entire life. Once you realize this, you can’t wait to continue this lovely thing you call life.