I want to share with you a little bit about my experience moving away from my college town. Since I graduated, in May 2011, I have seen a lot of people Facebook, blog, and tweet about this topic. I have always wanted to be helpful, supportive and encouraging. Sometimes I feel like the most helpful, supportive, and encouraging thing I can do is let people know they are not alone.
At first moving to Oklahoma seemed like any of the half-dozen moving experiences I have had since I lugged 10 boxes and some clothes into my residential hall room my freshman year. I called it a dorm then. I’m sorry. The only difference with my cross country move was that there was a lot more tape, and I sent stuff to myself in the mail.
I did not miss home. Not at first. I had the internet and all of its power – Skype, Facebook, Twitter and more. After a few days, things changed.
Comparing my new home to my old one was like black and white. I used to live walking distance – or a short drive – to any of my friends. Suddenly, the only place I could walk was Wal-Mart, and that was only if I was willing to run across the highway. In California, I lived a beautiful 40+ minute drive from the bustling diversity of San Francisco. Suddenly I was an hour (across flat, barren land) drive away from Oklahoma City, which, upon my first visit, I realized was not the bustling metropolis I was used to a city being. Instead it was more of a sprawling reach.
I had days where I felt so terrified and alone and buried under my academic work, which sometimes I felt like I did not understand as well as my classmates. I did the best I could, and earned a good grade and moved on to the next thing.
I also had days where I felt so satisfied and thrilled with my new life. Despite the heat, or the cold, or the loneliness, there were things I loved. My cohort was stunningly fantastic and always supportive. Sometimes when I questioned why I was where I was, the answer came down to the fact that I was meant to be in that group at that time. Sometimes my homework or job eased the pain of being in a strange place. I had so many incredibly supportive and encouraging people that I worked with, people who helped me see the light when I was down or struggling. People who taught me valuable skills that I will never forget.
Standing at the front end of some new transition in your life, I wan you to know that it is going to be okay. I know that may not seem useful, or helpful now, but the intelligence and resourcefulness that got you this far will take you all the way.
In time, you will make the friends you need, you will learn who you are (and what that means), and you will do the things you made this transition to do.
Just take it one step at a time.
I wrote this in my notebook to be posted a few weeks ago, and with all the book reviews and what-not, it just has not found its way up until now.