Just like my friends, I was busy writing essays describing, “The biggest challenge I’ve had to overcome”, “My greatest accomplishment so far” and many other essays selling myself to colleges so that they would give me a second look. While my friends were eagerly sending out applications in all different states and places, I was more cautious. Would I want to live there? Could I see myself at that school? I tip toed through the process while my friends took off at warp speed.
By the end of my senior year I had decided on a school that was a few hours away from home, while many of my close friends were accepting offers out of state, so unbelievably eager to leave the state of California. When a last minute acceptance letter arrived in my mailbox, I made the decision to attend a more prestigious school that was only 20 minutes away; that’s when I got a lot of backlash from my friends. Jokes about me “not really going to college” were becoming common, and it hurt. 3 years later I regret not going to an out of state college, but not for the reasons you think.
A couple years after college I married my long time boyfriend and we made the difficult decision to move out of the state away from family and friends. It was something we had talked about before because of the crazy high living costs in Southern California, but when reality hit and he accepted a job offer that had us packing up our bags to move over 400 miles away, my stomach seized up.
For someone who comes from a tight knit family, and has had the same friends, well since forever, it was and has been a challenging adjustment. At first I was glued to my phone texting and calling my friends and family as often as I could. I went home for Christmas, and other holidays, and it felt like I was away temporarily. But as time has gone on and adult responsibilities have taken over, I realized there is no spring break for me. This is my new reality and I can’t and shouldn’t depend on frequent visit or trips with family and old friends.
Starting over in a new place, having to Google Map to the grocery store or Target has felt, well, odd. Not to mention trying to make new friends as an adult is just plain H-A-R-D. Looking back I think that going away for college would have allowed me a better adjustment into adult life. I don’t think I will ever enjoy being too far away to grab lunch with my mom, or the latest movie with my best friends, but this adjustment would have been less of a shock had I lived temporarily away during school. While a lot of those who teased me about not going away have now made their way back home, I am off exploring a new state, beginning my new chapter as a Mrs., and have a lot to look forward to. Yeah, I regret not going away to college, but it has also lead me up to where I am now, and that’s pretty great too.
Photo Source: Kazuend