I left for a Summer camp job in New Hampshire this Summer and couldn’t wait to get away. I thought by branching out and leaving behind the “norm” my view on life and my abilities would change.
Well, they did. But with change came learning, as with all new things. You can apply any of these points to a hard decision or a difficult road. Mine happened to take place in New Hampshire.
1. Being away from home was difficult.
I missed the little things; the convenient things. The Target right next to my house and the bike trails that I could ride for miles and miles. Because of my allergies, I got extremely sick while at camp and was sick throughout the entire duration. My sinuses were miserable and I was unable to hop in the car and go to the nearest CVS. Where we were, the nearest supermarket was 25 minutes away. I learned not to take things for granted.
2. I missed my family.
You think you wouldn’t, but you do. You would think after all that nagging and bickering and complaining you’ve endured that at long last you’d be free. But, I missed that. I missed my sister challenging me, stealing her lipstick and sharing stories of the day.
3. I missed the freedom of choice.
Being away from home you would think you had more freedom; but, with freedom comes more responsibility. I took a leap of faith and traveled to the White Mountains of New Hampshire not knowing a soul who was going to be there. I thought I could do what I wanted and be who I wanted. But, I guess that just goes with the saying.
I did grow, however.
1. I met new people and learned how to live by myself.
Being transplanted into a completely new environment gives you the opportunity to start over; to re-evaluate things you used to think about yourself and maybe old habits that are brought to the surface. The people I met were extraordinary; Scottish, British, Irish, and people from all over the country traveled to this camp to work and have an awesome summer. I got to know them and they got to know me. I learned new ways of working with people and engrossed myself in the joys of making new friendships.
2. I learned to handle things my way.
Everything I did was my choice and directly effected me. I wasn’t reaching for the phone to call my mom 12 hours away for a decision I had to make right there. It was hard; believe me. For someone who never lived outside her own state, I was independent the moment I stepped on that New Hampshire soil and had to worry about myself. I learned how to make harder decisions and finish larger tasks.
3. I got to travel and experience completely new things.
Going along with handling things my own way, I got the chance to travel a bit around the New England area. Visiting places like Burlington, Vermont and Hanover, New Hampshire. I jumped off cliffs and (thankfully) found my way back up them. Buying cool new jewelry, experiencing nature and all the new culture excited me.
So, while my experience was a bit tougher than most and the circumstances (living in a service-less/wifi free camp in New Hampshire) were way WAY different… If you get the chance to leave where you are most comfortable… do it. It may be hard, but looking back on the person you were and the person you are now will make all the difference in the world.