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Your Stories Don’t Define You, How You Tell Them Will

Feb 6, 2018

Leaving home to go to college can be pretty traumatic, but if you're on a traditional path and move right into a dormitory, that trauma can be mellowed a lot. You don't necessarily have to cook every meal for yourself, and you're unlikely to have to start buying your own toilet paper. There are still rules in a dormitory, so you're still expected to behave as if others are watching you.

But leaving college, moving away from friends and family, and starting something completely out of your comfort zone can be a much bigger adjustment.

When I graduated and planned to move from Fort Collins, Colorado, to Washington D.C. for a paid internship, I couldn't have been more confident and excited for my next adventure. But subconsciously, I must have had my doubts. When I drove my mother to the airport after spending graduation weekend together, I melted down. The reality that my childhood was coming to an end, and that I didn't have a plan for the next time I would see anyone in my family hit me like a ton of bricks.

It wasn't until years later that I realized the value of this story from my past, the lessons I learned, and the evidence that story gave me to step into new environments with confidence and courage.