Going out on your own doesn’t have to be scary

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Congratulations.

You made it through the wicked depths of hell also known as high school, and it’s time to start the next “chapter” of your life.

Your applications are all done, your money has been taken and your bags are packed, ready to move, for most people.

The tie between moving away or staying home becomes a factor for many students. Whether it is worth the money invested in residence and rent, or it is a more beneficial program here or there, there is never a time when people don’t wonder whether it’s easier to stay at home, or leave.

One of the best decisions I ever made in my life was to go away to university. Although I have “a perfectly good university right down the street”, at least according to my mother, I couldn’t see myself staying in the Niagara region any longer than I had to. It’ll always be home, but it was time to move on.

Although I’ll admit that moving away from home is a terrifying experience, it’s also the most rewarding. You learn so many skills that you don’t get living in the basement of your parents’ house while they scheme upstairs on ways to get you to leave.

You learn the value of money, family, time, friendship and why it is necessary to clean your room every day. No one will pick up your dirty clothes anymore.
And you grow up.

Living at home, you’re not given the opportunity to cook for yourself, clean without being told, budget your money accordingly, make sure you get up in time for class and even do well without being told every day by a teacher to get on that assignment.

Although many of the academic components apply anywhere you go, the personal skills and experiences that come along with moving away can’t be bought with the extra money saved from staying home.

In my personal experience, I also found that many of the people that didn’t move away for school to regret their decisions. After that first year, you realize that at home, things don’t change as much as you hoped.

It’s just an addition to high school, but without the awkward dances, and with a lot more alcohol.

And I moved out of my parents’ house before I was 30.

My graduating class had more than 50 students go to the local university instead of moving away. That’s not including the ones that went to the local college either. Staying at home limits so many things that a person — regardless of whether they’re a student or not — really need to experience.

I understand that money is a major factor. Not everyone has the finances or the budget to be fortunate enough to move away from home.

I’ll be the first one to stay I may be in debt until I am dead.

But this isn’t an experience that should be hindered by money. It should be a growing experience, and if money is tight, even better. You learn to value the dollar and the education that comes with it.

Moving away from home is when I learned exactly who I want to be. The opportunities that came with moving away also helped shape my career path in ways that I wouldn’t have been able to if I stayed home.

I also met some of the best people by moving away: my floor mates, my colleagues, my coworkers.

All of this never would have come to me if I didn’t take the leap of faith known as leaving my comfort zone.

So if you, at any point during your years, believe that moving away was the worst decision of your life, please think again. Because this will change everything.

letters@thecord.ca

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