Dealing With Leaving Your Childhood Home

An Open Letter to My Childhood Home, As I Leave You

Dedicated to those getting ready to move out and dealing with leaving what they know.

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To the house that nurtured and built me,

As I pack up the ever-growing pile of dorm decorations and school supplies sitting in the corner, I'm struck with the knowledge I'll be leaving you so soon. I know "you can always come home" but I'm also realizing it'll never quite be the same. So here is some thank you's and some memories to look back on.

Thank you for letting four-year-old me make cookies with mom in the kitchen and not minding when I got flour and cookie dough everywhere.

Thank you for acting as the ultimate playground for my little brother and me. Thank you for holding our abandoned monopoly games safe and for tolerating the endless Nerf gun wars. An extra special thank you for always giving me good hiding places during crucial games of hide-and-go-seek.

Thank you for hosting our (almost) nightly family dinners and bringing us closer together.

Thank you for allowing all the eyeliner smudges on my bathroom mirror. I was 13 and didn't know when enough was enough.

Thank you for not minding me slamming my bedroom door when I was 14 and mad at mom and dad. I was a little dramatic, and it was definitely unnecessary. But my bedroom was always my safe place during my middle school angst phase, so thank you.

Thank you for keeping the light on while I studied late into the night. And I'm sorry for all the times I frustratedly threw my backpack on the ground.

Thank you for keeping me safe in my bed with blankets and warmth during insecure teenage nights. Thank you for letting me cry as much as I could in peace and comfort.

Thank you for not judging me during my mini dance parties while I get dressed (I'm not sure the rest of the world is ready for that yet).

Thank you for tolerating my best friend and me get ready for prom in my bedroom. I'm still finding fake eyelashes on my floor that we'd given up on.

Thank you for not making (too much) noise when I got back home a little later than I should have.

Thank you for being the safest, warmest childhood home I could ask for. I'm so grateful for all the memories your walls hold.

This isn't a goodbye, just a see you soon.

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To The Girl Who Isn't Graduating On Time, It Won't Feel Any Less Amazing When You Do

Graduating is something to be proud of no matter how long it takes you.

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To the girl who isn't graduating college "on time,"

I promise, you will get there eventually, and you will walk across that graduation stage with the biggest smile on your face.

You may have a different journey than the people you grew up with, and that is OKAY. You may have some twists and turns along the way, a few too many major changes, a life change, you may have taken most of a semester off to try to figure your life out, and you're doing the best you can.

Your family and your friends don't think less of you or your accomplishments, they are proud of your determination to get your degree.

They are proud of the woman you are becoming. They don't think of you as a failure or as someone any less awesome than you are. You're getting your degree, you're making moves towards your dreams and the life that you have always wanted, so please stop beating yourself up while you see people graduating college on time and getting a job or buying a car.

Your time will come, you just keep doing what you need to do in order to get on that graduation stage.

Your path is set out for you, and you will get there with time but also with patience. The place you're at right now is where you are supposed to be. You are going to thrive and you are going to be the best version of you when you graduate and start looking for a company that you will be proud to work for. Don't look on social media and feel less than, because at least you're still working towards your degree that you are finally passionate about. You will be prepared. You will be ready once the time comes and you cross the stage, move away, and start your journey in whatever field you're going into.

Don't question yourself, and be confident in your abilities.

With love,

A girl who isn't graduating on time

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Goodbye School, Hello Real World

I'm ready for ya!

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It's starting to hit me.

I've been in school, year after year, since kindergarten. Maybe even pre-school!

Now, I'm about to graduate with my bachelors in communication and I couldn't be more proud of myself. I'll say it. I often sugarcoat it or suppress it but d*mn it. I'm going to applaud myself. It was hard work. It took a lot of motivation, determination, (caffeine), and willpower to get to where I am today. I worked my ass off.

That being said, I can't help but think... What is life without due dates? What is life like without scrambling to turn in an assignment that's due at 11:59 PM? What is life like with actual sleep? Sleep? I don't know her.

Like I keep telling my boyfriend and my parents, I don't have it all figured out. At least not right now. But I will, and I'm in no rush to land my dream job right now. If anything, I want to take a year to myself. I want to travel. I want to sleep in if I d*mn well please! I want to read as many books as I want. I want to write till my fingers fall off (OK, maybe not that).

You get the jist.

I'm free. I can do and be whatever I want. And you know what? That's terrifying.

I'm lost. I've followed this structure for so long. Now what?

I don't have all the answers yet. But for now, at least right at this very moment, I'm so thankful to have been able to receive such an amazing education. And to be able to say I'm graduating with my bachelors in communication at 21 is an accomplishment in itself.

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