One of the most common questions I received when I first announced I decided to go away to college was, “Why in the world would you want to leave your home and state to go to a college?” At the time, I had no answer, but since leaving I have an answer.
- I became independent. From buying cleaning supplies to deciding whether or not that dress is worth your hard-earned money makes you learn a lot about yourself. I didn’t have my parents to tell me what to do, when to study, when to be nice or when to be mean. They were gone and I had to make a stand with my own two feet.
- I learned a different culture. I was in culture-shock when I first hit Florida soil. The people talked differently, there was less traffic, and the fast food was different. Even the weather had a mind of its own! I felt a stranger in my own country. I learned more about myself through the exposure of a different state than I thought possible. I learned that California is not the center of the universe and that I can appreciate the way other people do things.
- I relied on the Lord more. This is a big one. Before leaving home, I was content enough to rely on people around me for the reason I believed what I believed. Coming to Florida and meeting people with different takes on Christianity, has forced myself to study the Word more deeply and realize why I believe what I believe
- I was forced outside my comfort zone. I was or still am a very shy and reserved person. Being away from home and in my current job, I am forced to move outside my myself and be more outgoing. I still struggle with shyness, but the Lord has put me in leadership positions and pushed me outside my comfort zone to force me to become more open.
- I became my own person. Being away from your family, especially a large family, made grow more as a person and individual. Yes, I had my own character before I left home, but it developed more being away from my family. I am more sure of myself and more confident in who the Lord has made me
Yes, it is difficult to live away from home, but I have learned so much in the two-half years I have been away from home. I sometimes miss the mountains or the food (In-N-Out Burger all the way), but the Lord has taught me so much. I would never trade the memories and the growth that the Lord has given me. I am glad that I said, “I will go Lord, send me!”