Ever since I was younger, I had a dream of moving out of my hometown. I craved to get away from the small populated area and close-knit community atmosphere. I absolutely hated that everyone was always watching or talking about each other. The stereotypes and petty gossip drove me crazy. Personally, small towns were never meant to be a permanent home for me.
As soon as I walked across my high school's stage to receive my diploma, I was ecstatic. I committed to a university school and I was itching to start a new life in the city. More importantly, I was excited to start my career.
Flashing forward to today, it has been a year since I packed my bags and left everything behind. In this small time period, I learned who my true self is and what I want to do with my life. I credit this personal growth to the simple fact that I left my hometown to do bigger and better things.
I'm not going to lie. At first, adjusting to life in a totally different place was challenging. I needed to figure out how to spend money wisely, independently support myself, learn the ins and outs of the city, and most importantly maintain a social life while being a fulltime committed student.
These difficulties were hard, but within a week, I started to get the hang of life on my own. I quickly learned that taking risks would allow me to learn from both success and failure. I decided to attempt to do things by myself, which fueled my confidence and self-esteem.
By daring myself to do things, I started to accomplish a lot of my goals. I forced myself to learn the city's public transportation system. I forced myself to say yes to career opportunities. I forced myself to say yes to a night out with friends. I forced myself to say yes to beneficiary academic workshops.
I'm pretty sure you get the point. I made myself commit to things, which opened me up to a world full of new opportunities and connections. However, on the flip side, I learned when to say no. I learned my limits and mastered the concept of putting the important things first. Developing the skill to think with my head was a huge step for me.
Overall, all of these new life lessons and strategies that I learned are a direct result from learning to grow in a new place. Talking to diverse groups of people who I would have never been able to talk to in my hometown really gave me a new perspective on life and living in a vastly different community atmosphere allowed me to witness situations that were absolutely eye-opening.
Some of the experiences that I went through over this past year were just mind-blowing and ultimately changed me into a better individual. When I walked across that high school stage a year ago, I knew that there was a better life for me on the horizon. However, I did not know that it was going to be this fascinating.
For the graduating seniors this year who are looking to start life on your own away from home, I promise you that you will learn a lot about yourself. Whether it is good or bad, it will be worth it.
The people who care about you will stay in your circle. I'm not saying to leave everything behind. Stay connected with your family and friends and visit home once in a while. However, make sure that you allow yourself to open up and grow on your own.
Remember, don't be afraid to take risks. So, I dare you. I dare you to discover and learn your life purpose on your own.