Why Moving Out Was The Best Decision I've Made

Why Moving Out Was The Best Decision I've Made

I have found myself in a new city, and I'm never going back.
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High school was an unusually tough time for me, and it felt like I was the only one experiencing such exile.

It was exhausting, feeling like a majority of people disliked me. I struggled with finding the right friends, and often found myself alone, or with poor company. I spoke my opinions too loud, and had no fear of the repercussions of my actions.

I liked to tell it how it is, and had no shame in calling out any injustices I saw. I was often the topic of negative conversation, and heard rumors of myself through the mouths of people I thought I could trust.

It wasn't until my junior year that I came to terms with my oncoming adulthood. Before I knew it, I was applying to colleges and universities, being rejected from almost every single one.

Somehow, I got lucky, and was given the thumbs-up in Tallahassee, where I would be making my new home. I couldn't wait for graduation, where I could finally give everyone the finger and move on with my life. I wanted nothing to do with anyone from back home in Miami. My new life would begin in Tallahassee, and I would cut ties with anyone from my past.

Only through dark memories that crept up on me in the middle of the night would I remember high school. The toxic people, the doomed relationships, the blood-sucking environment of that poisonous town- it came during my darkest hours. I would distract myself with my writing, or with my new job, or with the partying that Tallahassee would provide.

I was sad at the thought of leaving my family behind, but I knew it was for the best. I'd only be able to come down for the holidays, and I counted down the days until Thanksgiving when I'd go home and reunite with my family for the first time since my move. Visiting family would be the only reason I'd return to Miami. I brought my dog with me to Tallahassee, unable to think of living away from home without her.

When I first moved away for college, I knew it was one of the best decisions I'd ever made, and I am so proud of myself for moving out. I was living on my own without any rules. I woke myself up for class, I cooked my own dinners, and I could do anything I wanted to. Moving out helped me become my own person.

No one needs to know about my past unless I decide to tell them. I've created a new person for myself. My mom and step-dad weren't a burden nor the reason I left; in fact, they were the ones that wanted me to move out for school. My dad was a little wishy-washy on me moving, but I've convinced myself it's because he didn't want to see his baby girl leave for college.

Freshman year was the trial period. I had class Monday through Friday, and worked almost every day. I went out almost every night. I went to frat parties. I went to football games and baseball games, decked out in Nole gear. I drove my old pick up truck with pride, and played my music too loud, even though my windows rattled. I was no longer that girl from high school people loved to talk about. I was a nobody here, which is exactly what I wanted.

Nobody bothered me, and I could be myself.

The start of sophomore year would be the start of a new chapter, and the best one so far. Less partying, more focus on school and my own well-being. I met a boy the summer before, the most amazing and wonderful person I could have ever met, who is now my boyfriend, and I couldn't be happier.

He's helped me become the best version of myself, and has helped me thrive as an individual. I found my Prince Charming at the most unexpected time, and I'm so blessed to have him in my life. With him, I've traveled more, experienced more, and have lived more.

I didn't know how things would turn out when I first moved away. I wasn't sure if I'd make friends in all my classes, or find my own group to hang out with. I wasn't sure if I'd get along with my neighbors, or if they'd invite me over to hang out. I was worried that I wasn't cool enough or if people would think I was weird for drinking soda at my 8 a.m. classes.

Now, I'm fine with not having a bunch of friends in my classes. I can focus on the lectures and go on with my day. I spent too much time trying to find a group to hang out with, and jumped around from one group to another, just to see that they didn't care if I was there or not.

I barely speak to my neighbors and I don't mind that they don't want to hang out. My roommate and I get along very well, and even though we don't hang out all the time, I know that we're still friends and can talk to each other when we need to.

Moving away helped me find myself. I'm still piecing together some of my personality and individuality, but I have an idea of who I am. I found my peace in writing, even when it's a bit controversial and stirs up conversation.

I can drive away in my new car without people raising eyebrows at what used to be the little girl behind the wheel of the big truck. I take my dog on walks around my complex, knowing people are looking at my dog rather than looking at me. I find comfort in people not knowing my name or who I am because that means I have yet to make my mark on this town. I'm still just starting out, new to all that Tallahassee has to offer.

Cover Image Credit: Elisa Nunez-Rodriguez

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To All Incoming Freshmen, When You Get To College, Please Don't Be THAT Freshman

I am pretty sure we all know who I'm talking about.

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As we are all counting down the days to return to campus, students are looking forward to meeting new people and reuniting with old friends. And then, there is the freshman.

We have all been there. The eagerness and excitement have been slowly building up through months of summer vacation, all waiting for this moment. I understand the anxiousness, enthusiasm, and insecurities. The opportunity to meet new people and explore a new area is very intriguing. But let's be real, you are here to make memories and get an education. So here are a few pieces of advice from a former college freshman.

1. Don't be that freshman who follows their significant other to college

This is the boy or girl who simply can not think for themselves. The 17-year-old puts their own personal goals and interests aside to sacrifice for a six-month high school relationship. This will more than likely end at an end of semester transfer after the relationship has been tested for a month or two in college life. So if you want to really enjoy your freshman year, make your own decisions and do what is best for you.

2. Don't be that freshman who lets their parents pick their major

"You are not going to school just to waste my money."

This is a statement you might have heard from your parents. As true as it might seem, this is definitely not a good way to start your college years. If you are not majoring in something you can see yourself doing, you are wasting your time. You can major in biology, go to medical school, and make the best grades. But if deep down you don't want to be a doctor, you will NOT end up being a good doctor. When it comes to picking your major, you really have to follow your heart.

3. Don't be that freshman who gets overwhelmed with the first taste of freedom

Yes. It is all very exciting. You don't have a curfew, you don't have rules, you don't have anyone constantly nagging you, but let's not get carried away. Don't be the freshman who gets a tattoo on the first night of living on your own. Don't be the freshman who tries to drink every liquor behind the bar. Don't be the freshman who gets caught up being someone that they aren't. My best advice would be to take things slow.

4. Don't be that freshman who starts school isolated in a relationship

I'm not telling you not to date anyone during your freshman year. I am saying to not cut yourself off from the rest of the world while you date someone. Your first year on campus is such an amazing opportunity to meet people, but people are constantly eager to start dating someone and then only spend time with that person.

Be the freshman who can manage time between friends and relationships.

5. Don't be that freshman who can't handle things on their own

It is your first year on your own. Yes, you still need help from your parents. But at this point, they should not be ordering your textbooks or buying your parking pass. If you need something for a club or for class, YOU should handle it. If you're having roommate problems, YOU should handle it, not your parents. This is the real world and college is a great time for you to start building up to be the person you want to be in the future, but you can't successfully do that if your parents still deal with every minor inconvenience for you.

6. Don't be that freshman who only talks to their high school friends

I know your high school was probably amazing, and you probably had the coolest people go there. However, I believe that college is a great time to be on your own and experience new things. Meeting new people and going to new places will allow you to grow into a more mature person. There is a way to balance meeting new friends and maintaining friendships with childhood friends, and I am sure you will find that balance.

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9 Mistakes That Are Perfectly OK To Make In College

I promise everyone makes these mistakes at some point!

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College is hard, don't underestimate it. While it would be great if we could all go through life as Elle Woods, it probably won't happen. While life would be a lot easier if none of us messed up, it's bound to happen at some point. Here's a couple of things it's completely okay to do wrong!!

1. Choose the wrong major.

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I promise it is NOT the end of the world if you have to change majors. In fact, sometimes it can be the best possible thing for you! It's okay to not be an engineer, I learned very quickly I'm not meant to deal with that much math for the rest of my life.

2. Mess things up with a roomie.

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Roomie fights happen, it's a part of life. While it'd be great to handle every situation perfectly, just knowing you did your best is sometimes all people can ask of you.

3. Go through a phase.

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Whether it be a girly phase, a chill phase, a peppy phase, a gym phase, or something else entirely you will most likely change in college. You will probably go through one or more phases and that's a-okay!

4. Forget a homework assignment, or a test, or something even more important.

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Yes, this situation isn't the best, but NO, it will not kill you. Inevitably you're going to forget something and probably get a zero or a late grade. And while planning ahead might help, you will probably let something slip. So, accept it now and know that the most important thing you can do if it happens is staying calm and figuring out how to do better next time.

5. Date the wrong person.

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College is about figuring out who you are and who you want to be. Part of that involves the people you surround yourself with. It's completely okay to surround yourself with people who might not be there in a few months. In fact, it doesn't even apply to relationships. Sometimes the best friendships for you are the ones that don't last long but help you grow.

6. Have a little too much fun.

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Whether having too much fun means staying out too late and crashing on someone's couch or spending a few extra dollars, it will be okay! Just learn from whatever fun you do have.

7. Impulse buys(!!!)

If you ask my mom she would probably agree this is my most common mistake. But it can also be one of the most fun. So yeah, maybe you don't need BOTH pairs of black wedges, but let's face it: the gold and silver accents mean they can go with two different outfits. So, go ahead and make the purchase... just be sure to thank me later!

8. Join the wrong organization.

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We've all been there. It's so exciting and coming to college means the start of a new era so sometimes the temptation to join every organization under the moon can be overpowering. But I am here to tell you right here, right now that not every organization is the right one for every person. It's okay to join an organization, even if it's the wrong one. Maybe don't completely ghost them, but a courteous resignation is totally acceptable at a natural break (i.e. the end of the semester or year)!

9. Buy crocs.

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Just to clarify, buying Crocs is NOT a mistake. But I felt like it was an appropriate finale to this list as crocs are the most adorable ugly shoes ever. They're so ugly they're cool and everyone should own a pair.

Okay, that's all, I think. P.S. Buy them before the factories close (if that's a real thing!!!).

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