What Moving Away From Home Teaches You

What Moving Away From Home Teaches You

It's scary, but it's worth it.

From the moment you step foot into high school, you’re taught to think about your future. What do you want to do for the rest of your life? Where do you want to live? Do you want to move away? When you’re barely able to drive, all of these questions can seem completely irrelevant.

When I was 17, I made a decision to move eight hours away from home. I have lived in the same house my entire life, and have never experienced the process of moving away. My small town was everything I had ever known. I grew up around the same people, always had the same friends, and drove the same country roads every single day. I’ve always been a very elaborate planner of my future, even from a young age.

When I was 13, I wrote a letter to my future self that said if I don’t achieve my goal of playing college golf, I’d be really disappointed in myself. I had some pretty high expectations as a young teenager as you can tell. Thankfully, 13-year-old Monica would be pretty proud of my decisions so far. Before one enters college, they're obviously given lots of advice from all different types of people. Such as "Don't procrastinate", "This is the best time of your life", and "You're going to miss home so much."

Let me tell you, all of those things are true. For being eight hours away from my home, parents, and friends, I would say I'm doing pretty well. However, being separated from a lot of things that I love has been one of the hardest things I've ever had to adjust to. I've compiled a list of things that stepping out of my comfort zone has taught me. No matter how far from home you are, I'm sure you can relate to at least a couple of these things.

Always be proud of where you come from.

Whenever I tell someone I'm from Illinois, they immediately ask if I'm from Chicago. I always proceed with "no, I'm from a small town close to the Iowa border", and the conversation usually ends there. However, this being my first fall away from that small town, I've realized how much I miss it. The Friday night football games, the peace of mind when driving down a country road, and especially the friendly waves as you drive through town. No matter where you're from, it's ok to admit that you miss it.

You realize how important the little things are.

When you move away and start a new adventure, it's easy to be swept away by all of the new people you're meeting, and all of the new experiences you're having. I will admit that my first month of college, I didn't miss much of anyone or anything. But this is normal for any new college student. As time progressed, the little things that I thought were irrelevant slowly started creeping into the back of my mind. Whether it be Sunday lunch dates with my mom, or drives with my best friend, I began to realize how many little things I had in my life that I was forgetting to miss.

Life isn't a competition and the sooner you realize that, the better.

If you have any recollection of high school or anything before that, you will recall that a lot of things had a competitive atmosphere. Whether it be test scores, sports, or homecoming court, there's competition all around you. It's easy to view life as a competition when from the day we're born, we're taught to rise to the top. This is an extremely effective way to get children and young adults to go after their goals and aspirations. I was/still am a very competitive person. However, I'm starting to view things in a different light. Once you're surrounded by a vast amount of different people and personalities, you realize just how hard it is to truly compare yourself to someone else. It's easy to say we want to be as successful as the next person, but the truth is that there's no way you'll ever accomplish something if you're always trying to outshine someone else. Being proud of what you've done, and still have yet to do, is the only way you'll stay positive about your life and the way you're approaching it.

Your family is always there for you when no one else is.

No matter what age you are, there will always be times in your life when you forget to appreciate your parents. Whether you're 14, 30, or 55, we can all remember a time where we didn't appreciate our family enough. A week ago my wallet was stolen, and I was without money or an ID. The first people I called was obviously my parents. I resented making that call because I assumed they would think I was irresponsible and incapable of living on my own. However, they made sure to remind me that it wasn't my fault and everything could be replaced. We all live in fear of disappointing our parents. It's the root of a lot of our problems. However, we all seem to forget that we've messed up before, and yet they still love us unconditionally. In fact, if there's anyone that will always forgive you, it's your family. Never forget them, especially on the good days.

It's not going to be easy.

If moving far away from home was easy, more people would do it. When I made the decision to move states away, I wasn't even old enough to be considered a legal adult. If that's not frightening, I don't know what is. However, even moving an hour away can be scary, and it shouldn't be taken lightly. What I'm trying to say, is it's ok to be frustrated, sad, and to feel lost sometimes. I can personally admit that I've had a tough time adjusting to certain things in my life. I could have given up and gone home to my safety net. Although that would be nice, it would be too easy. Now, I'm thankful that I was brave enough to step outside of my comfort zone in order to make myself a better person.

Whether you moved states away, or just a short drive away, I want you to know I'm proud of you. It's hard and it's scary, but in the end, all of the things you will experience will be so worth it. There will always be people for you to run to when you feel lost, and never forget that. Life is hard and it's frustrating, but if you're brave enough to face it head on, you'll learn so much more about this crazy life. And as my dad always says to me, it's not about the destination, it's about the journey.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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A Letter To My Go-To Aunt

Happiness is having the best aunt in the world.

I know I don't say it enough, so let me start off by saying thank you.

You'll never understand how incredibly blessed I am to have you in my life. You'll also never understand how special you are to me and how much I love you.

I can't thank you enough for countless days and nights at your house venting, and never being too busy when I need you. Thank you for the shopping days and always helping me find the best deals on the cutest clothes. For all the appointments I didn't want to go to by myself. Thank you for making two prom days and a graduation party days I could never forget. Thank you for being overprotective when it comes to the men in my life.

Most importantly, thank you for being my support system throughout the numerous highs and lows my life has brought me. Thank you for being honest even when it isn't what I want to hear. Thank you for always keeping my feet on the ground and keeping me sane when I feel like freaking out. Thank you for always supporting whatever dream I choose to chase that day. Thank you for being a second mom. Thank you for bringing me into your family and treating me like one of your own, for making me feel special because you do not have an obligation to spend time with me.

You've been my hero and role model from the time you came into my life. You don't know how to say no when family comes to you for help. You're understanding, kind, fun, full of life and you have the biggest heart. However, you're honest and strong and sometimes a little intimidating. No matter what will always have a special place in my heart.

There is no possible way to ever thank you for every thing you have done for me and will continue to do for me. Thank you for being you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Home For The Summer

Home sweet home.


Now that school is finally over, I packed up all my stuff and finally got to go home and be with my family again. More specifically, I got to see my dog.

Moving out was a hassle. I didn't realize how much crap I actually had. Sure, it started off not too bad when I moved in, but over the course of the year, more and more stuff came into my possession. By the time I was supposed to move out, it was like I had twice the amount of stuff from when I started. It took two days to officially move all of my belongings back home.

Since being home, I've noticed a couple of things.

First of all, my mom missed me a lot. Hi, Mom. :)

It's not like when I went to college, I completely disappeared from my mom's life or anything like that. We talked on the phone often, and she would visit me sometimes to take me and my sister out to dinner or something with our dad. Also, with the number of times I had gotten sick throughout the entire year, it was like every other week I came home.

The first day I came home, she made a run to the store and called me asking if there was anything I needed, and I said not to my knowledge. She came home with a crap ton of my favorite ice cream and snacks, just because.

Another thing she's been doing is cooking every night. My mom works during the week, so understandably when she gets home, she doesn't always feel like slaving away in front of the stove to make dinner. However, for whatever reason, my mom has made it her sole mission to make me gain 20 pounds by the time the fall semester comes around.

She knows I hated the food at school, so whenever she cooks dinner, she mentions that I love being home because I get to have real food. I mean, I'm not complaining. Who doesn't love a homecooked meal?

I can tell my dad is pretty happy about me being home with the new change in the menu.

Second of all, for the time being, I have A LOT of free time.

Now, this will change once I get my summer job, but as of right now, I have nothing to do. Both of my parents work during the week, and I didn't really keep in touch with the majority of my high school peers, so I have no one to hang out with. I mean, I could see some of my college buddies and sorority sisters, but everyone lives far as hell away.

This is kind of difficult for me. Not because I can't just spend time alone; I have no problem with that. However, I'm used to having a full schedule. Aside from just being used to it, I like it. I'm one of those people who likes to keep busy.

When I'm out and about or have a lot of things to do, I feel productive. Now, I just feel lazy because I literally have nothing to do. To try and counteract this, I've resorted to doing a personal project throughout the summer.

I just need something to occupy my time. Boredom sucks.

I'm glad to be home, though. Living at college is great, sure, and you have all this freedom to do whatever you want and you won't get in trouble or whatever, but I don't really care about all of that. Family is very important to me.

My mom, as crazy as she is, is my best friend, I tell her everything. Living away from that can really stink. Makes me wonder if that is why I kept getting sick so much. Like it was my body's way of forcing me to go home and be with my family.

This summer is going to be a much-needed break from school. I'm excited to see where things go.


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