Moving is the best way to learn who you really are.

Melissa - Columbia, Missouri
Entered on November 13, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: change, place

I believe that moving is the best way to figure out who you really are and what you’re capable of.

Since I was four months old, I had lived in the same town and gone to the same schools with the same people. I never had to be the “new kid,” and I never knew what it was like to be in unfamiliar territory.

This all changed on a teary August day, when I left everything I had known behind and started the next four years of my life in college, ten hours away from home.

I was terrified, lonely, excited, anxious, and uncertain. But all of these emotions forced me to confront my fears head on. I knew I could not look back; I could only use the lessons my parents, teachers, and friends had taught me to take on a new world.

I learned that I am independent, but need others to share the successes and failures that come with starting over in a new town. I learned that no matter how hard it was to leave my childhood friends behind, I was in the process of forming new friendships that would challenge me to be better every single day. And I learned that while being homesick would become a recurring theme in my life, I could make a new home for myself that I would miss just as much as my original one.

And overall, I learned who I am and have the potential to be. I no longer believe people when they tell me my dreams are not within my reach. I take their challenge and store it in the back of my mind, to remind myself that if I had the ability to build my life from the ground up, I can do anything.

I believe that moving away from home was the best decision I ever made, and I believe that because of that decision, I have realized my full potential.