November 23, 2016, by Shweta

What I wish I knew about leaving home for the first time

Having spent the last 18 years of my life in the same city, I was undoubtedly excited to move to Nottingham to pursue my dream degree. As an international student, 4500 miles away from home, I couldn’t wait for the changes that this move would bring. Don’t get me wrong, I love Dubai. It’s a fantastic city and I’m proud to call it home. But when you’ve spent all your life in the same place, with the same people, it’s hard not to get too excited when high school graduation comes around the corner.

I, alongside the hundreds of others teetering on the borderline of adulthood, spent months peering at Instagram pictures and videos of those who had graduated before us. I saw their seemingly perfect new lives, full of freedom and adventure, and couldn’t wait for my turn.

But here’s what they don’t tell you about leaving home for the first time.

The day you pack up your things and leave your driveway, you’ll feel like you’re leaving a piece of yourself behind. And that’s because you are.

They don’t tell you how saying goodbye to your parents is one of the hardest things you will ever have to do. Despite claiming my newfound independence, I found myself calling my parents every single day, even if it was just to hear familiar voices.

They don’t tell you that those first few days are incredibly lonely. You will, without a doubt, meet dozens of new people. Despite that, you will crave the comfort of the people and places you knew. Yes, even that one kid you swore you’d always hate.

But there’s a reason why they don’t tell you these things, and having moved away, I completely understand why. Embarking on this journey will probably be one of the best experiences of your life.

No one told me that coming to Nottingham would change me into the best version of myself. No one told me that I would meet people who’d become my family in a matter of weeks. No one told me that home isn’t a place, but a feeling. And how happy I am to know that I have not one, but two places that I now call home.

I’m so excited to see what the next few years bring and as a student blogger, I can’t wait to take you along with me.

Posted in Shweta