The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Student’s move to California marks life-changing decision

The Channels Opinion Pages | STAFF COLUMN

Over the summer, I had to make the toughest decision of my life.

When my parents told me that our family was going to move all the way across the country, I was enthusiastic for a change. Seven years later, I felt far overdue for a move back west.

Moving from St. Helena, California to Charlottesville, Virginia was a big change. I moved from the wine country to the countryside. It was a tough adjustment for a little kid. I wanted to go back to my nest. Although I was excited for a change, I wasn’t ready for it.

“It will only be two years,” my parents said.

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Two years became seven years away from my favorite state in the country; my home.

At first, the biggest challenge was making new friends. I had gone to the same elementary school of 40 kids until halfway through my last year of sixth grade. I didn’t realize that making friends wasn’t a given, as I always had the same group of friends.

Eventually I got settled in my new school, which was an all-boys school. By the time I got to eighth grade, I decided it was time for me to experience public school for the first time so that when I got to high school, I would at least have an idea of what to expect. Eighth grade marked a lot of firsts for me such as attending a public school, meeting new people and beginning to see girls as not just the opposite sex with cooties. It was a difficult transition because I had to spend it making new friends yet again in a completely new environment. However, the toughest thing about eighth grade was having to deal with the constant arguing between my two parents.

My parents divorced that year. I was not upset by it. In fact, the divorce made everyone in the family happier.

I began to have a lot more excitement in my life during my last two years of high school. I sacrificed being in a group with the most popular kids in school and chose to befriend people who I enjoyed being around instead of people that would make me be a “cool kid.” The choice ended up making a great difference in my life as I noticed that I was around a lot of good people.

The whole time I was in Virginia I wanted to be back in California. My best friends and family were there and I greatly missed the shocking beauty that the Napa Valley beholds.

My stance on leaving Virginia changed drastically during the end of my senior year. When I started thinking about leaving all of my friends and my girlfriend behind, it made leaving more complex. I debated into summer on whether or not I was going to stay and take a gap year.

After talking to many people about the big choice I was about to make, I began to realize I was going to hold off my dream of coming back to California only because I was scared to lose my friends, again.

My grandmother was a big influence in my decision. I respect her opinion as my only living grandparent and she is the sweetest person alive. She told me that no matter what I decided to do, nobody else had the right to be disappointed in or judge me because that would be the most important choice I would ever make.

Looking back, I am thrilled with my decision. That being said, I have also come to realize that Virginia was an awesome place to be. I was so consumed by my eagerness to come back home that I didn’t truly ever learn to accept my new home. If Virginia was all I had known, then I would still be there now.  However, when I’m in California, there is no place I would rather be.

Don’t let the fear of letting go chain you to a life that you don’t want to live.

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