Why you shouldn’t be afraid to move across the country after graduation

Your hometown raised you, your college town helped you grow up – now you choose where to start your life


The moment you settle back into your hometown after you graduate, there is an obvious panic that eventually settles in. Not only did you just wrap up the past four years of your life which consisted of hardcore studying with even harder-core drinking, but now you have to start the rest of your life and become the adult you were destined to be.

While you are taking advantage of the lax period your parents give you to do nothing but exist on their couch for a few months, it is just a ticking time bomb which is ultimately you postponing the inevitable.

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But in the world today, knowing what you want to do is no longer enough. You need to know where you want to start to do what you eventually want to do and you need to pick a very small spot on this planet that we call Earth that you can call your home for the next few years at least.

Honestly, it is a lot of pressure to put on 22-year-olds whose only responsibility up until this point was make sure you show up not completely wasted to your exams. It’s easy to choose a familiar place, but I am here to tell you that not taking this one risk in your life will be the biggest mistake you ever make.

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Up until this monumental precipice in our lives, we have always had help making life changing decisions from other people. Whether it was our parents, guidance counselors, teachers, mentors, etc., there was always someone else on the other end of our decision making to give us the OK to continue on with our lives.

The luxury of being done with school means you are finally a independent and as the old saying goes “the world is your oyster” (though that saying has never made sense to me). You now have the choice to travel anywhere in the world, which includes the places you have grown to know and love but also presents the chance to step outside your comfort zone.

The first place you work right out of college will honestly and truthfully be the most life changing experience you will ever have to go through because you are, for the first time in your life, completely on your own. This is why it would be a waste of a milestone if you don’t take a risk and move across the country.

Move to a place you’ve never been, move to a place you’ve only seen on TV, move to a place where you shared an amazing vacation with your family, even move to a place where you have distant relatives if you are that terrified of being on your own. Just do not stay in the same place. Your hometown raised you. Your college town helped you grow up. Now it is your choice where you start your life.

I grew up in a small town in Massachusetts and when I told people I was planning on going to the University of Texas at Austin, the only response I ever got was, “Texas is so far though.” Yes, I would say as politely as possible, and that is exactly the point. Going into college I had the opportunity to try out a different part of the country for four years of my life, and it ended up being the best decision have ever made. I had four perfect years at a school and in a city I fell madly in love with. Then, when I graduated and I told people I would be moving to neither Boston nor Austin, I again only got the response “California is so far though.” Again my response, as politely as possible, was yes and that is the point.

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In my opinion, having the opportunity to move post grad is an incredible luxury. What an exciting time in my life it is to know that I will be starting a life 2,600 miles away from the place where I grew up. The hardest thing about moving is the people you leave behind. But it is important to remember that the people who are meant to be in your life will not only support your decision in wherever you choose to start your new life but also will find a way to stay in your new life. Not only will moving to a place you are unfamiliar with give you a chance to meet different people, experience different cultures, and try different things, but it will answer the question in the back of your mind that can drive anyone insane: “What if?”

In the words of novelist Anita Desai, “Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.” This is your chance to live a life inexplicably more exciting than what you could have imagined. Don’t let it slip through your fingers or the only thing you will have in years down the road is your “what if?”