Making Home Away From Home
Imagine being in one of the most beautiful locations the UK has to offer all the while knowing that your friends and family are 150 miles away. It’s a seriously hard decision to make, sacrificing living around the corner from all your friends and family, missing out on family events and nights out with your friends for the sake of your future. This year was my first year doing exactly that; I decided to stay in Plymouth while my university friends went back home miles away. There have been ups and downs in equal measure, but now we’re coming to the tail end of my first ever summer in Plymouth, I can honestly say I know I made the right decision.
I realised when I began to write this post, I’ve not written on my blog for over two months. TWO MONTHS. You would probably think that my summer has been full of fun adventures and I would have so much to write about and cool places to share, but that’s just not the case. As my final year is encroaching, I’ve been working hard to try and make sure that when I finish University, I don’t hit a massive wall and lose inspiration for pursuing a career I am passionate about. However, through focusing on that and ensuring I have enough trips home, I was able to remind myself of why I’m doing this whole moving away from home deal.
So, this is a slightly different blog post, a catch-up of sorts, to share my experience of my first summer away from home and my tips for getting through and making the most of where you are.
1) Accept you won’t make it to every event.
After a year of my best friends all turning 21, celebrating with big nights out, driving 8 hours in 2 days and running on coffee fumes, I realised enough was enough. I needed to find a better way of going home for visits. It’s just not possible to make it to every event. Even though it can be heart breaking when you see everyone you love together having fun and making memories which you won’t be a part of, selectively choosing when to go home has so many advantages over driving back for one day trips. Going home for around four days at a time (or more if you have the time), pre-arranging who you’re seeing and when you’re seeing them, means you have enough time to have fun and make memories. Then, you can compensate for the times you might feel like you’ve missed out on.
2) Have the confidence to ask people to come to you.
This is something that I’m still working on myself. It can be difficult asking your (super busy) friends and family to take time to meet you somewhere that is closer to where you’re staying while at home. However, you have to trust that if they are wanting to see you enough, they will drive the 20 minutes to see you (after all you have traveled a lot more just to visit home!). That way, you have more time to fit in more people and you won’t tire yourself out travelling even more.
3) Keep yourself busy.
This summer I have stepped out of my comfort zone A LOT (which has been extra challenging where I don’t have my mum around the corner for a pep talk). However, because of pushing myself out of my comfort zone, saying yes to every opportunity (even those that may make me nervous) I have had a very busy summer, full of some super exciting moments. I have been building my writing portfolio, writing in different styles which I’ve never before had the confidence to try, interviewing people I would never had met and learning all about the incredible projects they’re working on. I’ve even experienced performances that have moved me, opened my eyes and changed my perspective. Just this week, I was lucky enough to be on a week-long internship at The Moment in Plymouth, during which I’ve met incredibly innovative and talented people, gained a new level of understanding and respect for the components of a film, digital and immersive agency and feel incredibly excited to have a glimpse into what my future could potentially look like. Through keeping myself busy, I feel so much more rooted in Plymouth and I am getting myself ready for the future – win, win!
Every person is different, so my method may not necessarily be what works for you. Moving away from home can be such a stressful time and I believe any advice that can possibly help is worth considering. Please feel free to get in touch with any top tips you have for moving away from home!