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What Moving Away From Home at 16 Taught Me

For a driven individual, the balance between opportunity and comfort is often a blurry line. It is often easier to remain comfortable in the safe life that we have made for ourselves, but it is like the saying goes: there is no risk without reward.

Fast forward to shortly after my sixteenth birthday when I packed up my safe life and decided to move across the country to Lakefield, Ontario. I mean, I was still sixteen, and I wasn’t quite ready to venture on my own. So, I moved in with my aunt and uncle for the year, as I completed my Grade 11 year at Lakefield College School. Although this wasn’t as nerve wracking as moving across the world to attend Lakefield College like many of my friends did, it still seemed like an important step in my personal growth. Like I said, the line between comfort and balance is often a blurry line.

Lakefield College is a private boarding and day school that boasts notable alumni, such as His Royal Highness Duke of York, Will Arnett (Arrested Development, am I right?!) and several other successful CEOs and professionals in varying fields. According to the mission statement on their website, the goal of the school is “to challenge and enable our students to reach their individual potential in mind, body and spirit”. In other words, this experience is one that would change my life. This school was meant to provide its students with all they needed to thrive, and that it did. I moved back to Alberta in June 2014 with a full heart and a mind bursting at the seams. It was unbelievable to me the wealth of knowledge and experience 10 months away had given me. I had changed, and those around me noticed too. I went from a reserved sixteen-year-old who honestly lacked self-confidence to someone who was ready to take on the world.

This opportunity didn’t come without challenges, though, and it was difficult on many fronts. Watching my mom cry at the airport while dropping me off to go back after Thanksgiving and then proceeding to book a flight to come four days later was not either one of our finest moments. Neither of my parents were ready for me to move out at the young age of sixteen, so that was definitely part of the reason that I was back home to start school the following September.

  With all this being said, the line between opportunity and comfort is often blurry. It is partly because of this experience that I am able to test this balance each and every day and that I am more comfortable than ever doing so. With all this being said, I realize this is an opportunity that not everyone is able to have, and I recognize that I was incredibly lucky to have had this opportunity. So, thank you to all that made that experience possible for me, including my parents, my aunt, my uncle, and their wonderful family. It truly was incredible, and let me say, in this case, the risk was definitely worth the reward.





Hi, I'm Rachel. I am a third year Bachelor of Arts student at the University of Alberta majoring in Political Science and minoring in Sociology. I am extremely passionate about writing and I am so happy to share my ideas through Her Campus. In my free time, I love to read, volunteer and hang out with dogs. One day, I hope to own a corgi as they are most definitely my dream dog. I hope you enjoy what I have to say through my writing. 
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