As I scroll through my news feed I see numerous post about the sadness that comes along with someone leaving for college. Whether it is a parent's Facebook post expressing how much they will miss their child or the child's post expressing how sad they are to be leaving home. I have even seen articles from my fellow Odyssey writers expressing the same feelings, what they will miss, who they will miss and how sad they are to be leaving home.
As I start to endure my second year 400 miles away from home, I am not sad. I am ecstatic to see what is to come within the next nine months and what memories are to be made. I am ready to be back working toward my college degree and my future career. I am excited to be back living in the town I love surrounded by the people I love. I look forward to the opportunities that will present themselves over the next nine months that can and will be life changing. The next year is full of many surprises that I am ready to unveil.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my hometown. I love my friends back home, and I will love my family until the day I die, but right now, that is irrelevant. It is my time to be selfish. It is my time in life to figure out who I am, where I am going and to chase every opportunity that is presented to me. I know moving 400 miles away puts many strains on the relationships with my friends and family but those relationships should be strong enough that they understand I have to do what is best for me. Friends and family should not be sad over someone leaving because this is the time in their life that they need to grow and learn on their own. It is okay to miss someone but it is not okay to make them feel guilty for leaving or make them miss the comfort of their own home.
So here is to positivity. Another year of late nights at the library and late nights at parties. Another nine months of making memories with the friends we already have and the new friends that we have yet to meet. Two more semesters closer to a degree. Numerous nights of spontaneous actions and infinite freedom. There will be some bad nights but they will only make the good nights seem that much better. There will be some hard nights and some hard exams but they will only make graduation and having your degree feel that much more worth it.
If I had to give any college student advice about leaving home whether it is their first time or their third, this would be it. Be happy. Be ecstatic. Keep in mind all that is yet to come. Keep your mind on the future and not the past. You are moving forward and starting an amazing journey, the people back home will still be there when you get back. True friends and family want what is best for you, so do not feel guilty for leaving. Do not feel sad about what you are leaving behind. Be happy about where you are going in life and what is yet to come. This is the journey of life, and you are just getting started.