Since the beginning of my college search, I knew I did not want to move far from home. The security of knowing that my mom was a short drive away was too great to give up. As an 18 year-old who considered her mom to be her best friend, moving away way probably the hardest things I had done so far.
Yeah, when I was in college and living in a dorm, I was away from home, but only by thirty minutes. I was able to drive home in the morning on Saturday and be home by the time the parties started. And it was very likely that my mom had groceries waiting for me to take back to school or leftover food boxed up so I could have momma’s cooking at school.
What kind of “independence” was this?
It took four years into my college career to fully understand why you need to live on your own in your 20s. Being in Indiana has really opened my eyes to new learning and appreciation.
Distance makes the heart grow fonder
I had never been in a long-distance relationship until now. My silly sophomore self once thought that seeing my boyfriend once a week was long-distance, but I was so, so wrong.
Knowing that I only have one weekend to see him every so often, makes that short time so much more precious. Of course I still get annoyed with him (what guy isn’t at least slightly annoying), but I try to avoid fights at all cost. Who wants to spend the one weekend you see your significant other fighting about something stupid? I would so much rather enjoy his company and do something fun that we have not done in a while.
Making important appointments on your own
Whenever I am home, my dad always takes care of any car problems I may come across. However, out here in Middle-of-Nowhere, Indiana, I have to schedule my own appointments whenever the oil light comes on while I am still 200 miles away from my apartment.
Luckily, I am a risk-taker and continued driving. No harm done…I don’t think.
If I need something done, I have to do it myself.
You learn to actually cook real food
Although mac ‘n cheese or peanut butter and jelly would be the easiest thing to make for dinners, I actually want to eat real food. Therefore, as I am on my own, I need to figure out recipes that I like and can cook.
This has actually been working out pretty well! So far, I have made a couple chicken dishes, an acorn squash recipe, and crockpot chili (which was enough to last 2 weeks, so I froze half).
Making decisions on your own, for yourself
As I discussed in my post about the difference between being nice and being a pushover, I had to make a decision regarding whether or not I would continue to take this girl to work or not. I am the type of person that likes to talk every situation out prior to acting on it, so when I had to weigh the pros and cons on my own, with little discussion with my mom, it was quite challenging.
I truly do believe that it is extremely beneficial to be forced to make decisions on your own because you will not always have someone to hold your hand all your life. Deciding what to do really taught me how to analyze a situation on my own and decide what would be best for me without outside opinion.
Being on your own also allows you to make choices without having to consider anyone else. When I stayed in Indiana for a weekend, I watched a full season of Revenge on Netflix (if you haven’t seen it, you should watch it now) and got ahead on some blogging. Had I been at home or with anyone else, I would have had to consider what they wanted to do and might not have been able to relax and binge-watch Netflix all weekend.
Appreciating the people that you once took for granted to see everyday
When living close to home, we tend to take for granted the amount of time we get to see our loved ones. Living four hours away from home has made me appreciate my family and friends so much more. Like I said about how distance makes the heart grow fonder, distance also makes me value my time with my loved ones so much more.
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