Personal Journey

Things Living Away From Home Has Taught Me: Written by a recent grad

Well, even though I’m a recent grad I still have another semester of classes and then a semester of unpaid 40-hours-a-week rotations before I graduate again and can actually start working. But how I’m supposed to pay the bills, including tuition, while working for free 40 hours a week is beyond me, that’s a post for a different day.

Back on track, Alison.

So, this summer marks my first summer of actually living away from home. I don’t just mean living at school or … well that’s basically all I’ve done the past 4 years. I mean REALLY living away from home. Like, living-in-a-city-house-with-my-fiancé-while-we-work-summer-jobs kind of living away from home. I’ve learned a little bit already, and am actually looking forward to not starting that 9-to-5 life quite yet.

  1. It’s up to YOU to find people in your community. Trevor and I recently joined a new church and when you’re little you have an “in” everywhere because you have your parents and they’ve already paved the path for you. Now, kid, you’re on your own. We ended up going to a newcomers meeting and I joined the Nursery team Sunday mornings which involved meeting someone at a coffee shop first.
  2. You don’t always have to be busy! The college campus life makes you think that you always have to be somewhere and that if you aren’t then you aren’t living up to your true college life potential. Time to sit in your room? No! You have meetings to be at. You need to be at the library. Why aren’t you having a coffee date with a friend in the 30 minutes you have between classes? Ah, real life hit this summer … and if you just want to stay at home and sit around and read, you can! Who’s stopping you? You don’t have to sit and watch all the other productive students pass by your dorm room window anymore.
  3. Getting up and going to work everyday is real, and it gets old. I don’t even have a real person job, and granted when I do it will be something I really enjoy because darn-it I am not doing this much school for nothing. This summer I’m spending working with a summer camp and continuing my job from the spring semester. It has its perks, working lengthy hours and getting good money… but the routine of it all just gets so old!
  4. You’re going to have to find your own doctors now. This one may seem obvious, but it’s a good amount of work! It’s no longer as convenient to go home for your well woman’s exams or your physicals or your dental cleanings. You’re going to have to talk to people you know, get recommendations, do your own research, and move all those wonderful health records over. Luckily I’ve found everything except for a physician so far! I feel very accomplished. Until then, urgent care it is!
  5. Family vacations hold a whole new meaning. It’s about much more than just the destination now. It’s about being with your family! Who would’ve thought? 😉 In all seriousness, though, the best part about my summer was going on adventures with my family. I miss them so much during the rest of the year and this time we have together is something I truly cherish now.
  6. You might actually want a hobby or two. You’ll find that amidst your regular routine you might want something else you look forward to. For me, I haven’t found just one I really love yet. I’ll do random things to fill my time – read, paint the old picnic table out back, scrapbook, play games. Sometimes I even randomly drag out my flute and play.

That is all the wisdom I have to impart right now. Hey, am I getting closer in my journey? I hope so. Still there’s a long road ahead. Until next time…

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