Look outside and take in your surroundings. California has it all: beaches, forests, mountains, food and culture. However, being in this paradise of a state may give us the Cali-centric idea that nowhere else in the United States or world-at-large can provide the same satisfaction that California is so well known for. From Austin and Oslo to Miami and Manhattan, opportunity lies in all corners of this world and if adventure is calling, you should definitely make an effort to move out of their home state before they turn 25.
For many students, leaving their home state often happens when they go to off to college. According to The Sacramento Bee, 40,000 high school graduates left California for college in 2016, and this number is growing. However, this is not always the easiest route, because schools generally tend to carry a higher tuition, and staying in state could mean the difference between none or loads of student debt. Whether for college or not, there are plenty of opportunities to move out of California before permanently settling in, and you should definitely take advantage of them if given the ability.
The first reason to leave is that moving elsewhere will force you to learn how to become truly independent. Whether your car breaks down or you need to find a new home and neighborhood to live in, you will have to do everything alone without being able to rely on the network of family and friends back home. While this may become stressful at times, being able to figure things out without assistance from others feels damn good. After high school, my mom picked up her belongings from her quaint seaside hometown in New Jersey to move to Santa Barbara for college, not having a single friend or family member within a 100-mile radius of her new college town. Though she recalled the first months as being a struggle at times, she constantly reminds me that the skills she learned and friends she made while being completely independent, will live with her for life.
No matter how good things are at home, it is always great to get a fresh start in life. Moving elsewhere gives you the chance to meet new people and leave the negative aspects of life at home behind. Nothing beats your best friends from home, but you need to realize that your real friends will be your friends for life, no matter where you live. Expanding your network by leaving your comfort zone and meeting new people is a healthy and rejuvenating thing to do, and will enhance both your social and financial wellbeing as you [hopefully] broaden your network of friends and colleagues.
Let’s be real. When you move away from home, you’re not going to land somewhere and be immediately surrounded by new friends. Forming those tight knit relationships with new people takes time and patience, but being alone is also a gift in many ways. Not being constantly surrounded by all of your friends and family gives you crucial time for self reflection and improvement. When that alone time becomes too much, there are phones and airplanes! With today’s transportation and technology, it’s easy to remain in touch with old companions. Even during short periods of time when I am alone and not surrounded by any familiar people, I cherish the time because it helps me reflect on myself. Though too much alone time can get depressing, having technology and an outgoing personality will help bring back old and new friends alike.
Moving away from home also gives you the ability to gain a new perspective on life and experience a new culture. I recently visited the midwest to tour a few schools I had applied to, and it was shocking to me how much nicer and caring the people were there. Though this was only a first impression of the midwest, I have heard from countless friends and family that people on the midwest are, in fact, more nice and caring than Californians. Although I’ve never lived in the midwest, this kind of culture shock gave me a new perspective on life. It really helped me realize how there are some great places to consider moving to outside of California.
After all, I am still only 18 years old and the longest time I’ve ever been alone outside of my hometown was three days, which may lead you to believe that I am not a credible source for this. Nonetheless, I recently made a huge decision to leave California for at least four years to attend the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich. I was always sold on the school, but not so much on the idea of leaving California. As a result, I talked with many family members, friends and peers about their experiences leaving their hometown or state for college or other reasons, and I heard nearly no negative feedback. Hearing about the experiences of friends and family paired with reading multiple articles and blogs, I am certain that I made the right decision. Though things may not click immediately in my social and financial life, I know that leaving California will make me a better person in many ways.