Goodbye for Now: Thoughts on Moving Away for College
The myOptions Team
For those of us heading off to college, the end of summer is a bittersweet time. You begin the summer with a heart ready to create memories of late nights filled with music, laughter, and friends underneath the glow of a full moon. You embrace the thought of being miles away from home and beginning a new chapter in your life. You revel in the possibilities that accompany change: meeting new people, seeing new places, eating new food, being a new you. The thought of starting over is exhilarating, but it is also surreal. This is the summer that won’t end…that can’t end. Somehow along the way, in between the random adventures and the hectic dorm shopping, you forget that this summer must end. You forget that with every new beginning, there are also goodbyes.
We’ve all been exposed to those cliche sayings about letting go, starting over, and not prolonging change. Apparently, letting go is a good thing and saying goodbye is just part of the process. They make it sound easy, but the people you’re saying goodbye to are more than just your friends and family. They’re your soulmates. They’re the people that have watched you grow up. They know your quirks…and they've stuck around. This is the place that will always be your home. And you, an inexperienced teenager whose hopes and dreams overshadow the corruption of the real world, are going to leave it all behind. Why not stay? Why leave behind the people and places you love for the unknown?
The thought of leaving the comfort of home for a completely foreign world is both exciting and nerve-wracking. It’s a romanticized idea that soon loses its luster once you begin to think about the challenges that will accompany the distance. Trust me, I’ve had my fair share of doubts since choosing to attend a university on the opposite coast. I’ve lived in Southern California for more than half my life and in less than two weeks I will be starting school in Massachusetts. It’s a frightening thought that sends my pulse racing. I’m going to leave behind the family that raised me, the friends that supported me, and the city that shaped me. But I’m not the only one. Four of my best friends are also moving across the United States. And we’re all doing it for the same reason: to grow.
You’re not only saying goodbye to family and friends when you move away. You are also saying goodbye to comfort, security, and a certain identity. Whether you’re moving 120 miles or 2,456 miles away, the change you're going to make in these next couple of years will most definitely be worth it. You will make mistakes, and you will learn. You will gain freedom in having to make your own choices and decisions. You will gain wisdom from getting lost on campus and finding your way back. You will gain independence in the form of coins and laundry machines and having to cook your own meals once or twice. You will gain an immense collection of memories and stories. And most importantly, you will gain an appreciation of home. Moving away from home does not mean that you won’t return. You may be saying goodbye, but it’s really only just goodbye for now.
If you’re questioning whether or not to move away from home, if you’re hesitant about applying to schools out-of-state, or if you’re doubting your decision to attend your dream school on the other side of the country, let go of the fear and just do it. It’s not going to be easy, but it will definitely result in some of the most unforgettable times of your life. It will develop your character, and it will expand your horizons to lands you never knew existed.
Saying goodbye is one of the hardest feats we have to overcome. But in order to grow, it must be done. As you bid your farewells, say hello to your future.
Post courtesy of Alejandra Davila