5 Things I Learned My First Year Away From Home

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Moving away from home at age 18 has drastically changed how I see the world. Learning that life is not always about YOU – it’s about the impact you have on those around you. It was far from easy, but I learned from every moment, and I am forever grateful for that.

I know many different age-groups read our blog, and that’s what I love about it! If you’re a senior in high-school getting ready to make the big move next fall, you can learn something. Even if you’ve been out of our house for years, I encourage you to remember that first time you moved away from home – and maybe you’ll find something new to appreciate about your life now. Remember all the feelings, the emotions and fear, but knowing your adventure was just beginning. Hindsight is always 20/20!

I learned so much from this past year, and I am so excited to share it with you!

1. Homesickness is real, and it sucks.

From the moment I decided to move to Tulsa, most of the reactions from people had to do with the distance from Wisconsin to Oklahoma, but I tried to ignore it most of the time. I went into this knowing that I couldn’t just drive down the street to visit my parents, or have them with me on hard days. Homesickness didn’t actually hit me until a couple weeks after saying goodbye to my parents. The moment we said goodbye, I was completely fine. It was actually a very anti-climatic moment. Honestly, I feel like that’s how most “goodbye’s” are, which seems like an oxymoron. I emotionally built myself up to that moment, and in my mind I thought it was going to be a tear-jerking, non-stop-crying ordeal, but it was quite the opposite. I hugged them, and I didn’t even feel sad (I am a horrible daughter, I know). The moment it hit me was one month in. It was such a bad day, and I missed home so much. I needed to let out my emotions but for some reason I couldn’t, so I watched a really sad movie and the tears fell, and they fell some more, and some more. If you know me, you know I am not a super emotional person, but the moment I start crying, I couldn’t stop. Side note: I have the ugliest cry-face ever (if you ever have the privilege of seeing me cry, you’ll agree). I was so sad and I felt so alone even though I knew they were only a FaceTime or a text message away, but it just wasn’t the same. Home-sickness came and went kind of like any other feeling or emotion. Some days were worse than others, but it made me appreciate the time I had at home so much more.

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2. Be thankful for your parents.

I cannot stress this enough! I gained so much respect for my parents, knowing all they have done for me. I was especially thankful for my mom’s cooking. I can only cook about 5 different meals, and I have trouble navigating my way through kitchen (If there are any guys out there who can cook, hit me up). I would have fought someone for a home-cooked meal, seriously. I learned to cherish and appreciate all the times I had with my parents. Looking back at my childhood, I took all those moments for granted – the nights where I had my mom there with me to talk and to laugh, the daddy-daughter dates, the silly family-bickering, and just simply being with them.


3. “Adulting” is expensive.

I remember the first time I bought groceries. I was like “Hold up, is anyone else seeing these prices?” I had no idea food actually cost that much money. I know, I am so childish, but I was so surprised. When it came to food, rent, books, and other necessities, there were many month’s and weeks where I didn’t know how I was going to make it, but I learned to trust God more this year than I ever have. He always provided! Whether it was in the little things, like an encouraging letter from someone back home, or my gas tank somehow lasting weeks longer than it should have, God always came through, and my faith was strengthened that much more.

 4. Meeting People.

Meeting people has always been a struggle for me, being an introvert and socially, just.. awkward. This was my biggest fear going into this year, and although I didn’t have the most friends in the world, the ones I had were enough for like.. 50 people, because they were just THAT awesome. My fellow bloggers, Sonia and Cyrae, and I always look back at the first time we met. We can’t help but laugh because we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into (in the best way, of course)! I know that we will be friends until we are grannies, and I can’t say that about all the friendships I’ve had! Going through drastic changes alone is not fun: and without my friends this experience would have been so much different and probably not as exciting or hilarious for me.

5. It was all worth it.

The good times far outweighed the bad, and every challenge was an opportunity to learn and grow. I am a completely different person now than I was when I moved out. I am far from being an expert on this, but I know that this year has shaped who I am as a person. I had to grow up and it taught me that every moment matters, even the small insignificant moments. They all play a part in the end-result. I made life-long friends, my relationship with God grew, and I got to experience a new city and new people that I will never forget.


I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world, and I will move on to the next chapter of my life as a new-and-improved version of my already pretty cool self (humility at its finest). But FurrRulll (as Cyrae likes to pronounce “for real”), I am SO thankful! I couldn’t have done it without the prayers, encouragement, and help from my friends and family. You are all wonderful people.

We would love to hear about your experience moving away from home, or starting a new chapter of your life. Join the conversation! Leave a comment and let us know!


One comment

  1. Kellam · July 10, 2016

    I love this article. I feel like I was right there with you 😉 You are a great author Mikayla. Actually, all 3 of you are! Thanks for sharing your heart and making yourselves vulnerable to others. Lots of people aren’t willing to give of themselves so others can learn, grow and be encouraged. You guys rock!


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