Leaving Home and Headed to a Big(ger) City

My name is Takeya McDonald, a current graduate student at NYU. I graduated from DePaul University in Chicago in 2013. I decided I wanted to venture out to New York City to pursue a Master’s degree in Counseling: Mental Health and Wellness. I was beyond excited to be leaving Chicago and my home to begin a new adventure. I fell in love with New York City when I was visiting once at age 16. I thought it would be “cool” to live there for a while to experience something new. At the time of applying, I did not realize it could be a possibility and now a reality! I went out on a limb assuming that I wouldn’t even be accepted. DePaul has helped me to become an analytical, critical, and open minded to new things. Looking back, I just knew that my time in NYC would be great and I will use what DePaul has taught me to further develop as a person. Today I know that I have made a life altering decision and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Going off to undergrad, I didn’t have the experience of going far from school. Home was always just a train ride away. I was in the beginning stages of emerging adulthood. I never thought how difficult it would be not being able to see my family at any given moment. When moving 8+ hours away from home by car, it becomes an obstacle to get home when necessary. Flights increase during the times you have breaks, if you work and rely on that money it is difficult to make decisions based off of that. For example, if I am on summer break, I cannot go home to relax as some people may do. These are things to consider in the later stages of emerging adulthood. I have a job where I am that I cannot abandon. I have rent and utilities that need to be paid regardless of my work schedule.
I am in no way trying to persuade anyone from going far away from home. What I am trying to do is get you to think deeply about the pros and cons. Think about what you will need or learn as you are far away. Identify why you feel you need to go and only justify it for yourself. Make a plan. What will you do and how you will do it? What would happen if a number of unfortunate events should happen. BE PREPARED. I have learned so much about myself and my family dynamics being away from home and I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything in the world. Personally, leaving the comfort of my hometown and experiencing another city was what I needed to bridge the gap from emerging adult to actual adult. I feel as though I have a better understanding of what it takes to be on my own and make a life for myself. It’s also pretty cool to look back and think, “I did that!”

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