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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14 Fraternity Guy Gifts Ideas, Since He Already Has Enough Beer

Frat boys are a species of their own and here are some exciting gifts they will be ecstatic to receive!

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What more do frat boys love than alcohol, partying, and just acting stupid? Here are some gifts that help fulfill all of those needs for the frat boy in your life!

1. Beer holster belt

Whats better than one beer? Six beers! This fashionable camouflage accessory can be used for tailgates, beach days, formals and everything in between.

Price: $8.49

2. Phone juul holder 

You know those cardholders everyone sticks on the back of their phones? Well, now a Juul holder for your phone is on the market! This will save your favorite frat boy from ever again losing his Juul!

Price: $10.98

3. Animal house poster 

This Animal House poster is a classic staple for any frat boy. This poster will compliment any frat house decor or lack thereof.

Price: $1.95

4. The American Fraternity book

Does the frat boy in your life need a good read for Thanksgiving or winter break? Look no farther, this will certainly keep his attention and give him a history lesson on American fraternity heritage and tradition.

Price: $28.46

5. Beer pong socks 

These snazzy socks featuring beer pong will be loved by any frat boy. As for the way to any frat boy's heart may, in fact, be beer pong.

Price: $12.00

6. Condom case

This condom carrying case will not only protect condoms from damage but also make frat boys more inclined to practice safe sex, which is a win-win situation!

Price: $9.99

7. Frat house candle

Ahhh yes, who does not like the smell of stale beer in a dark, musty frat house basement? Frat boys can make their apartment or bedroom back home smell like their favorite place with the help of this candle.

Price: $16.99

8. "Frat" sticker

Frat boys always need to make sure everyone around them knows just how "fratty" they are. This versatile stick can go on a laptop, car, water bottle, or practically anywhere their little hearts desire.

Price: $6.50

9. Natty Light t-shirt 

Even I will admit that this shirt is pretty cool. The frat boy in your life will wear this shirt at every possible moment, it is just that cool!

Price: $38.76-$41.11

10. Natty light fanny pack 

This fanny pack can absolutely be rocked by any frat boy. The built-in koozie adds a nice touch.

Price: $21.85

11. Bud Light Neon Beer Sign 

A neon beer sign will be the perfect addition to any frat boys bedroom.

Price: $79.99

12. Beer Opener

Although most frat boys' go to beers come in cans, this bottle opener will be useful for those special occasions when they buy nicer bottled beers.

Price: $7.99

13. Frat House Dr. Sign

Price: $13.99

Forget stealing random street signs, with this gift frat boys no longer have to do so.

14. Beer Lights 

Lights are an essential for any party and these will surely light up even the lamest parties.

Price: $17.19

Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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The Honest Truth About Stress

This is exactly what you need to hear

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Stress is draining. It takes all of our energy, our focus, and just makes us feel almost useless.

When we are stressed we lose our focus on what we are stressed about and focus on how our stress is causing more stress. We take bubble baths, watch movies, put on face masks, we do whatever it takes to make our stress go away and often times it never does.

Lou Holtz says "it's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it." Our stress is so draining because we don't know how to carry it. We look at all these tips and tricks on how to organize our lives, we have Pinterest boards devoted to relaxation and healthy living, but when we get stressed we honestly don't know what to do.

There is no cure for stress.

Or is there?

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4

Our trials, seen in the right way, can produce joy. Our trials bring us perseverance and the fact that we can face one and then face another, and another after that is truly magnificent. Yes, stress is draining, but how often do we look at a road filled with green lights and say "wow all of those green lights really helped strengthen my patience"? No, we learn patience through getting red lights or getting stuck behind slow drivers when we're in a rush.

Everyone knows that stress kills joy, but when we look at stress from the end rather than the beginning or being stuck right in the middle it changes everything. It makes us think, it forces us to be uncomfortable, and best of all once we're through it there is always joy.

Stress drains us, but it also challenges us. It grows us and allows us to see that we are capable of doing more and being more. As Thanksgiving comes, we can be thankful for the hard times because we know they bring goodness.

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