If you're like me, the most excitement you received on a Friday night was driving around town with your friends, blaring music. The only places open past ten was the local Walmart and a couple of bars and grills. And although you'll miss this little town you've shared eighteen years of your life with, you can't wait to see what this world has to offer.
Here are my five reasons why you should be excited to move on:
1. All of the new peopleGiphy
You've shared your entire childhood and much of your young-adult life with the same people. The same peers, parents, teachers, and familiar faces around town. While you'll miss some of them, you know they'll be there when you come home. Meeting new people is the most exciting part about college. It opens the doors to new opportunities and experiences, all the while you get to know yourself and who you are for what may be the first time. People tend to represent the places they come from, and you will probably experience many people that are nothing like anyone you knew from your hometown... and that's great.
2. The chance to explore a new environmentGiphy
As you venture into the next chapter of your life, you'll become aware of opportunities and knowledge that were once foreign to you. And with those opportunities and experiences lies peer pressure. The key to finding the best version of yourself in college lies in the people you choose to make a part of your life. Take what you've learned and what you know about yourself and use it to your best judgment in choosing these people. You want people that will support you in your decision to apply to internships and in your decision to get tacos at 4:00 AM. You are still you, so be it with your new people.
3. New foodGiphy
Enough said, right? If you're like me, your mind is on food 24/7. As you go away to college, the opportunity to try new foods will present itself very frequently. You're living in a new town with new people and it's time to make yourself a townie. Embark on the great foodie adventures and try all of those yummy hole-in-the-wall restaurants and coffee shops. I guarantee you won't regret it… but don't forget to hit the gym every now and then.
4. More freedomGiphy
This is probably the most exciting part of going off to college: freedom. You have no curfew, no parents dictating who, when, or where you hang out, and no parents telling you to do your homework or study for an exam. However, with this level of freedom comes many responsibilities. There is a new level of difficulty that comes with living in a new environment. It's up to you to decide what is most important: grades or a late night with friends. Use your freedom to build your life up in the best way, but remember why you're there. Make yourself (and those parents) proud.
5. Finding your nicheGiphy
The stigma surrounding small towns and communities is present despite location. Communities link together and not everyone shares similar views. This is your chance to find your niche. Find those people who speak to your heart. Find friends and individuals who lift you up rather than drag you down. Find people who share your views on everything from politics, to social issues, to music and movies. Experience diversity and open-minds. You have so many opportunities to find those people, but it's up to you.
For eighteen years you've had no choice but to live here, but this is now your opportunity to venture outside of those county boundaries, even if it is just for four short years.
Take what you've learned from your experience growing up in your hometown and form a new perspective of the world. When you feel lost or lose sight of the future, reflect on those moments spent in your beautiful hometown that molded you into you.