College and young adult life is an interesting experience. You are suddenly out of the house and have complete independence. You get to make your own schedule and you choose how to spend your money (if you have any). You get to choose who you want to date and what classes you want to take and it feels great to have freedom.
But after the first month or so of being an ‘adult’ you realize that you are still so much of a teenager. You still call mom all of the time and you don’t know how to do your taxes. You have to get a credit card and you have no idea what APR is. Suddenly tuition and rent and insurance and all of the bills are due and all the money that you expected to spend on clothes and vinyls is gone in a second. That’s when you realize that being an adult is…hard.
And it’s even harder when you realize that you have to give things up . . . Netflix or Spotify?
I have been particularly lucky in college. I have a scholarship for my tuition, I get merit scholarships to help pay for books, and I get grants that pay for my rent. Therefore, the money that I have made from my 20 hours of work every week has paid for general expenses as well as to be put into a savings account. Although there are still emergencies and bills I had to pay often, I am still able to have some spending money and buy organic fruit while keeping a gym membership.
But now I am getting ready to go to grad school, where they don’t like giving liberal arts students scholarships and the tuition is quadruple the cost. Not only that, but I’m going to be getting educated in Connecticut while my family is across the country in California. And you know what, I’m actually terrified.
I have been trying to find housing, and I don’t know anybody, and I have no idea how to drive in that kind of snow, and I’m afraid because grad school is hard, but you know what? I know that everything is going to be okay. I know that everything will turn out alright. I think that living in a life where you don’t take risks is unfulfilling and essentially boring. I could have stayed at BYU and completed grad school in Utah where I was comfortable, but I needed to do something new and have a different experience.
I think that it’s easy to not do things because they are scary, but it is healthy to go new places and try new things where things aren’t familiar. Sometimes you have to move miles away where you know absolutely nobody as a means of figuring yourself out. Because, that is the most important thing, right? There is nothing wrong with being a little selfish and saying, “I am going to take a year to go and figure out me just because.” Obviously, there are some responsibilities that you have to remember. For example, if you happen to have a family, this is not the best decision. But, as a young adult, I think that this type of adventure is fine and healthy.
Plus, there is something lovely about being a person that actually lives in a place and isn’t just visiting. When I went to London both times I was there for six weeks, living in actual flats. I went to certain markets and restaurants to the point of where I became a regular. I went to church and created relationships with those people. And my favorite thing was that I found small bookshops and cafés that I wouldn’t have found otherwise if I was just a tourist. I grew to love the city and knew it like it was my home, because it became my home. So, I think that is something great about living in a new city–finding it’s little cracks and creases.
So, in all, am I scared? Yes, but more excited than terrified. And I hope that even if you are scared to try something new, that you do it anyway. Life is for exploring and discovering, so just try that thing you’ve always wanted to, and go to that place you’ve always wanted to go to! Don’t be your own obstacle!