Heads, Carolina…

Tails, California. That’s how the song goes, but is it the right move for this soon-to-be college student?

Our elder thinks not, but she strongly suggests getting a second opinion!

Dear EWC:

Okay, to give some background, I live in a state with a Running Start program, which means I am graduating high school with an Associate in Art (2 years of college done). I also moved out of my mom’s house 2 years ago, and have worked consistently since then, but live “everything free” at my Aunt’s.

I just bought a slightly newer car, and left myself with $2,000 in savings. I also turn 18 in a month. My plan as far as anyone else is concerned is that I will go to my local college and finish with my Bachelor’s in Teacher Education in 2 years. I will live the same mundane life I am now, with the same job, people, life etc. Here’s the thing. I hate it. It’s safe, it’s easy, I won’t struggle, but I also will not have any fun or memories when I am older.

So, about a week ago, an idea struck me. It is incredibly unorthodox, but I have always romanticized the notion of getting in my car and never looking back. Heads Carolina, tails California, am I right? Then, I was like, why not? What if? What’s stopping me? Society? Fear? So I made a little plan. Apply to WGU online so I am not without further education, find a job somewhere in the U.S., rent a little apartment, and go live a new life. Make friends, experience things.

I am so nervous to broach this topic with anyone, it seems so silly. Am I being silly? Is this dumb? Is it possible? Any advice is appreciated!!!! Also, I do recognize living on my own will be hard and expensive. I also recognize how lonely it will be if I move somewhere with 0 connections and then don’t make any friends.

Maryanne replies:

I am going to suggest, immediately that, after reading my advice, you submit your letter for a second opinion.

I am, by nature, someone to whom security is very important. I am a teacher and one of the reasons I became a teacher was because of the security that career offered. I do also enjoy being a teacher, but the security of that profession definitely played a role in my choice.

I am sure you have guessed already that my advice would be to stay where you are and finish school. Having the degree under your belt is very important. I do not think that if you stay put NOW, it means that you will stay in that town FOREVER. Once you have your degree you will have more opportunity to find employment someplace else. To me, that would be the time to leave.

Please do not be insulted but I think the idea of just getting in your car and driving someplace is quite unrealistic and in this time of COVID, quite dangerous. You want to go someplace without a job, knowing no one, and having to find a place to live. Really? That does not seem like a great plan. Maybe it is a dream but not a plan. Finishing school and then finding a job (someplace far away, if you wish) is a much better option, I think.

I wonder if you can bring some excitement into your life (since that is what you are truly seeking) by getting involved in something new. A new hobby or volunteer opportunity. Maybe a course on photography or anything else that you have never tried. If you are someone who likes to exercise maybe you would like to join a gym. Anything new that you can bring into your life might be something to consider. It is a way to change up your life without completely giving up everything good that you have.

As I said, in the beginning, you should submit this for another opinion so that you may hear from someone who is more of an adventure seeker. I think it is important to obtain opinions from people that agree and disagree with your thoughts.

Take care and be safe.



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