Millennial Life

8 Ways Moving Away From Home Changes You

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Whether it’s a few months, a few years, or the rest of your life spent living away from your hometown, it can take a toll on anyone. Moving away from home changes you. Unless you are a total ice queen (or king for that matter), it’s sort of a long, drawn-out, achey sort of feeling when you get to missing everyone. While there is always that sting of not being there for a family gathering, having a long-distance relationship with everything familiar has serious long-term benefits, too.

So, if you haven’t figured it out by now, here are 8 Ways Moving Away From Home Changes You:

1) You realize what relationships are real, and which ones were just filling space.

This filtering process takes a few years, but it will happen. Your first few visits home you are trying to cram in visits with everyone, prioritizing your relationships one by one. As it turns out, sometimes the ones you once had at the top of your “to see” list, end up not even on it after a few visits.

The reason: You start to realize you are the only one perpetuating your friendship. That’s a tough pill to swallow, but better that you do it now rather than years of investing in a sh*tty friendship. You also are shocked by the ones who drop everything to make sure they can see you while you are home. Those people take over your former friends top spot, and life goes on better than before.

2) Quality time with family and friends becomes more, well, quality.

Part of moving away from home is that you don’t know when you will see someone from home next. You sure make an effort to enjoy every moment with them. Your conversations get deeper, your smiles get bigger, and your belly laughs harder.

3) You become more resilient.

You have tackled a new city on your own, made new friends, got a new job, and established a new life for yourself. You feel on top of the world. FACT: You are mentally stronger and more self-sufficient.

4) Who knows, you might meet the love of your life!

Hmm, I feel like someone I knew did that! 😉 Seriously though, you are challenging your comfort zone and embracing all sorts of new people and places — opportunities become limitless!

You aren’t as picky and close-minded because you simply can’t afford to be, and sometimes that is the very thing that keeps us from true, authentic love.

5) You develop a serious amount of people skills.

When you start with a friend group of zero, there’s really nowhere to go but up. When I first moved to Myrtle Beach I had -$250 in my back account. Yeah, I freaking owed my checking account money, that’s how broke I was. I needed to find a job ASAP.

With no friends to refer me, I took off on my moped and cruised up and down Ocean Blvd talking to pretty much anyone. I stopped and talked to one person, who pointed me to another, who ended up employing me for a year and a half. It really is all about who you know, so you make yourself pretty darn sociable.

6) It’s inevitable, you have to go through the psycho friends to meet the good ones.

Maybe it’s just me, but I tend to attract crazies. This has proven to be true with every new city I have lived in. First, you might befriend someone who seems really nice and opens up quickly to you. There were so many times that when I really got to know that friend, they turned out to be crazy and have way too many issues.

Warning: you are going to need to cancel that subscription ASAP because the last thing you need in a new city is a reputation of being a nutjob. In the meantime, this first questionable friend has most likely introduced you to other people, and so your friend circle grows and you end up with people you actually love. So thankful for the crazy that introduced me to this lovely lady!

7) Your family gets bigger and bigger.

They might not be blood family, but once you meet those new friends that you so desperately needed to feel established, they slip from friend to family status really quickly.

Chances are you are spending holidays together because you can’t get home for every single one, and you start to make new traditions with them. No matter how long you stay in that particular city, you know that you are always welcome to come visit them.

It’s different with them. You chose them, and they chose you too. You aren’t friends just because you have this awkward obligation to keep up with them due to having the same high school on your diploma.

8) You are walking on ground you have never walked on before.

Even on your worst days, you can always focus on the fact that you are doing something new every day. You could be back in your hometown, going to the same restaurants, sitting on the same barstools, but you aren’t.

That’s amazing.

It takes a great deal of bravery to leave, and it’s not the best choice for everyone. But if you’ve got the bug, let it run your life for a little while, see where it takes you!

Haley Reagan is a young mother and fiancee who kicks ass and takes names. Wisconsin born and raised, but a Carolina transplant, and is studying to be a Middle Grades teacher, so yes, she is borderline insane. She really strives to be the Shane Falco in a world of Eddie Martels.

  • Boo bear

    Thanks for mentioning the “crazies.” It’s happened to me twice now in new cities, and I thought there was something wrong with me lol. One pattern I’ve noticed is that they’re always the ones who are just a bit too over-eager to have your friendship. They go from 0-100. (One announced we were “best friends” our 2nd night ever hanging out, for example…we were 28, so it wasn’t even in a college kind of way) Being a somewhat shy person (at first), I tend to appreciate their “enthusiasm” since it’s easy to be lonely in a new place, and then as soon as I realize just how crazy they really are, I feel trapped. My advice to anyone in a similar situation is get out now. It won’t get better. You won’t “drift apart slowly.” You just have to cut it off before your life gets any more toxic…or in one of my cases, dangerous even. Also, you will learn that everyone else around you will have already noticed the “crazy” long ago, so you won’t suddenly be alone and lose all of your new friends if you cut it off. A lot of times, everyone else is suffering in silence right alongside you.

    • Haley Reagan

      So true! Thanks for sharing, hoping you have some awesome friends now that you have gone through the less-than-awesome ones! 🙂