Recently I moved for graduate school and as time progresses I find myself yearning more and more for the comfort of my undergraduate city in the region of the state that I was born and raised. So a little background before we move along… I was born in Nashville, TN and raised about an hour NW of there in Clarksville, TN. My Alma Mater is SE of Nashville in Murfreesboro, TN, and all of these places reside in the Middle TN area. Therefore my entire life (with a couple of exceptions) was spent in this one area of the state.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am a pretty well-traveled 23-year-old woman, but I’m used to a more “urban” scene than where I am now. I now reside in NE TN about 2 hours north of Knoxville. When I tell you that I am currently experiencing a major culture shock, do believe me. I am surrounded by small towns that don’t exist on a map, mountains, very little minority presence, and a lot of nothingness (or rural life as it is properly referred to). Never in my life did I imagine that I would be in a city like this, and as I find myself missing home terribly I realize that the reason I am here is because it is out of my comfort zone.
We all have these little imaginary boxes we live in. No matter how adventurous you are or how willing you may be to try things, there is always a something that you’re “uncomfortable” with. I put that in quotations because I feel that feeling is manifested by fear. Humans are naturally weary of the unknown so obviously being in a situation which you feel you cannot predict brings feelings of unpleasantness. For me this feeling comes from the preparation of wanting to live in extreme urbanism (NYC) to actually ending up in a city like half the size of where I grew up and went to college (which is pretty small).
Oddly enough it is more difficult than one would think. I’m still a broke college student so even if there was a ton to do I couldn’t afford it, but there really isn’t much to do in this area. I imagine you saying, “But wait, you’re a student, study.” Well my answer to that is… there’s only so much studying a girl can do. So now as I find myself homesick more often and in need of comfort, I have to venture out, meet new people, find new hobbies, and make a life for myself here. In this place that I couldn’t have mustered in my wildest dreams.
Moral of the story: I was obviously accepted to this program because it was meant to be. I have no idea the higher meaning of this outcome and I don’t really care because I plan to live my destiny out here and continue to grow into an amazing woman and professional. This is a splendid program and university with tons of opportunities that I know I wouldn’t have been afforded anywhere else. The lesson here is to recognize that the best things for you are often outside of that box that your fear has created for you to live inside of.
Peace and love.