mental health

Life After High School: To Stay or To Leave? That Is The Question

Graduating high school is the stepping stone for all the major milestones you will achieve in life. Why? Because school has literally consumed at least 13 years of your life (K-12) and that diploma is equivalent to saying “I am ready to take on the world.”

As discussed in my last Life After High School post, figuring out what to do after high school can be exciting, overwhelming, and sometimes depressing. You just spent the last 13 years of your life raising your hand to ask to go to the restroom and now you are expected to make real-world decisions like who should run our country and where to invest your money.

Today, I want to focus on students/graduates who are debating if they should leave the nest or stay there. The nest being – HOME! Let me preface this with the fact that I left home two weeks after I graduated high school to start my collegiate career. I will try my best to NOT be biased but to share my truth, experience, and suggestions. Also, these reasons are not listed in any particular order.

Reasons to Leave the Nest

(1) It Forces You To Become Responsible

Let’s face it! You have been wanting to be treated as an adult since you were like 13 years old. Now you can be! Gone are the days when your parents are banging on your door to wake you up for school or nagging you about doing your homework. Gone are the days when you have to ask your parents for permission to go to the movies or even money to go to the movies. Gone are the days when you have to check in with your parents if you want to spend the night at your friend’s place. Granted, leaving does not mean your parents will not be there to help you in your transition into responsible adulthood, but know that the training wheels are off.

(2) It Pushes You Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Unless you grew up in a family that travels for fun or participated in out-of-county / out-of-state field trips with your school, chances are you probably have not left your neighborhood. We are creatures of comfort and habit. You do not know what you can handle and what is out there if you never GO! Life begins at the end of your comfort zone so start living.

(3) It Exposes You To Different People

Have you ever seen the movie Vantage Point? In short, it is a movie about an assassination attempt on a U.S. president and there are witnesses all recounting what they saw from their point of view. Go check it out if you have a chance. It came out my senior year of high school – 2008! But anywho, that movie is how I see people of this world. We all are experiencing life differently, seeing things differently, and even feeling things differently. So I love meeting new people because there is always something to learn. Leaving home exposes you to people who may have lived a life completely opposite of yours or someone who lived a life identical, yet, so different. Go out and meet new people! You might just meet your new best friend.

(4) It Provides You More Privacy

Living at home as a child and living at home as an adult is completely different. TRUST ME!!!! As a child, you probably wanted to stay up late to watch television or go hang out with friends and were given a curfew. As an adult, you DO NOT want that curfew. You want the freedom to do whatever you want without regard to how anyone feels about it. Depending on your relationship with your parents and how they want things in their house, your privacy may be extremely limited.

Now, I know you are reading this like, “these are nice but there are reasons not to leave the nest too.” And I completely agree with that sentiment. Maybe one day I’ll write about that but today, I just want you to consider why environmental change can be good.



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