February 20, 2015

4 Lessons I Learned Living away from Home.

Donnie Nunley/Flickr

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be away from my family.

I asked myself,

”Will I be able to survive on my own without constantly having someone I can rely on?”

I thought about all the obstacles and the challenges I would face and it terrified me. It was simply another part of reality I was refusing to acknowledge.

I always pictured my life with my mother by my side, guiding me and helping me through everything.

It felt easier that way.

When I remembered that she wanted me to be independent, it triggered something in me.

The only thing holding me back from spreading my wings and flying was myself.

Here are four lessons I learned living away from home.

1. It helps us grow everyday.

When was the last time you were eager to learn something new?

Being on our own for the first time in our lives, in an unfamiliar place, can be quite a challenge.

We might constantly feel unprepared to do things. It may seem like time is ahead of us and we get caught up in every day  struggles, but in fact we’re just learning new things.

It could be anything from cooking, doing our own laundry, cleaning, doing the dishes, making our beds or grocery shopping.

These are all lessons that help us grow in different ways.

2. It helps us discover more about ourselves.

Spend some time in front of the mirror everyday for at least two minutes.

Talk and listen to yourself. Ask questions and answer them.

Test your creativity and put it to use.

Relax and spend some time thinking about yourself, what you love and what you don’t.

The things that upset you the most and the ones that make you happy.

We can always discover something new about ourselves. We can learn to appreciate ourselves and get to know who we really are.

3. It helps us gain control of our lives and become independent.

How many times have you wondered what it would be like to have absolute control of your life and the choices you make?

To make a decision without being pressured.

I learned to be independent the first time I found myself alone in a foreign country, away from my family. I always thought that I was independent when I was home, with my mother by my side, but I wasn’t.

Being independent doesn’t mean you can screw up your life and do whatever floats your boat. It means knowing how to make decisions and take care of yourself in the right way.

It’s knowing that we can gain control of our lives while still having obligations. It’s taking full responsibility for our own actions.

4. It helps us connect to the world around us.

This may seem like the hardest part of being on our own, but it actually isn’t.

Once we get to know ourselves and our values, we know how to interact with those around us.

It doesn’t matter people’s background is, we still find a way to connect with them. I believe that each one of us has different approaches when it comes to people, but acceptance of one another is what really makes it worthwhile.

We will meet people from every corner of the world—we learn about them and they learn about us. I always say that it’s a great privilege and experience to meet people with different backgrounds.

Now that you know what it takes to get out of your comfort zone, what’s holding you back?

If you have the chance to go somewhere away from your family, always take the opportunity to do so. Don’t hold yourself back from taking the risk to live such a wonderful experience.

Always remember that your family and loved ones will be there for you when you return.



For My Daughter: 15 Life Lessons I Wish I Had Received Growing Up.


Author: Joana-Alice

Apprentice Editor: Brandie Smith/ Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: Donnie Nunley/Flickr

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