I have always been someone filled with wanderlust and a natural curiosity for the way people live, even if it is only a few towns over. I tend to wonder where people go to school, how far of a commute it is to the local grocery store, and what the owners of each home do for a living–the simple stuff in life. And, I guess that is the writer in me.
Despite this, when it came to choosing colleges, I could not see myself going any farther than two hours away from my small, western New York hometown. Luckily, I found a place exactly two hours away that I will always call home, no matter where life takes me, and one that will hold a special place in my heart. My small, southern tier New York school helped me grow into the person I always wanted to become. It is because of this place that I “became extraordinary.” However, I am excited to live in a new place, wherever that may be.
I truly appreciate the beauty of rural New York, of my home. Driving down the expressway for fall break through the fire-red mountains and overlooking the open farm fields is my favorite drive. The summers spent by the pool with my best friend, little brother, and golden retriever are ones I would not trade for anything. Even the snow I complain about incessantly can be pretty sometimes.
But after 21 years, I am ready to drive new routes, spend summers in an unfamiliar place, and hopefully not deal with any snow at all.
We have all heard that our twenties are our “selfish years,” which could not be more true. In our twenties, we are still young and the world is at our’s for the taking. That being said, I am perfectly fine with moving somewhere after the dreaded graduation day.
When I look back at these years, I do not want to say, “I should have done that” or “I did not take that opportunity.” I would rather say that I tried. Wishing I took advantage of an opportunity would be more regretful than taking that risk and it not working out. It makes more sense to me to move to a big city on my own and dislike it than hold back because I am unsure. Taking risks is what makes people better and stronger-willed. Being thrown into a mix of unfamiliar faces is wildly intimidating, yet may result in something as beautiful as the autumn leaves in these familiar farm towns.
Home will always be here when I decide to return, and I am sure one day I will grow tired of the unknown and want to return to the comfort of western New York. Until then, I will not be content staying the same place. There are amazing opportunities out there and now is the time to find them.