Throughout high school, I never thought about going away to university. I always thought I would remain at home in Toronto and go to university in the city, until 12th grade. In 12th grade, I started to find myself more curious about the possibility of going away to university. What school would I go to? Would I make friends? Would I live in residence? Would I have a roommate? I became more and more interested in the idea of going away and experiencing something completely different and new. And I am so glad that I finally made the decision to go away to university.
Here are four reasons why:
My parents weren’t extremely strict, but it was not a free for all either. Like most people my age, I was expected to tell my parents where I was going, whom I was going with, and what time I would be back by. If I was not back by the time I said I would be, I could definitely expect a few missed calls. This is all a natural part of living at home. However, experiencing freedom with no questions asked has not only been extremely fun but it has also taught me some valuable lessons. Not having someone there to watch your every move, allows you to freely make mistakes and suffer the consequences.
One of the most courageous things I’ve done thus far is go away to university. It forces you to step out of your comfort zone and can make you a much more confident person. It has taught me so much about others, the world and myself. I’ve met and lived with people of different backgrounds, political views, ideas, and experiences. I was forced to make new friends and step into this new world where I could count the people I knew on one hand. I’ve learned to communicate, compromise, and share a living space (which was something totally new to me as an only child).
You will learn to be an adult (sort of). Before going away to university, I barely knew how to do laundry. I had no idea how to pay a bill. And at most, I knew how to make some mediocre pasta. Going away to university forces you to learn how to do these things on your own without the help of your parents. I learned how to do laundry, pay utility bills, cook (and discovered I have a passion for it), and clean. I’ve created a lifestyle that adheres to my own desires and needs by creating my own schedule, eating clean, exercising and taking care of myself without anyone telling me to do so.
4. You learn a lot about yourself
Going way to university and stepping into the unknown teaches you a lot about yourself. I’ve learned what I am really like as a roommate, person and friend. I’ve learned what makes me happy, frustrated, angry, and sad. I’ve become a stronger person because I am forced to face my problems head on. I cannot escape or run away from my problems by running home after school when I want to. I’ve learned who are the people I want to surround myself with and be friends with. I’ve discovered new passions and hobbies that I likely would not have if I did not experience the freedom and independence that I’ve had the chance to. I will definitely be leaving university as a completely different person than the person I was when I walked in.
Not everyone has the opportunity to go away for university and it is not for everyone. But it definitely was for me.