Out On My Own
When applying to college, I only saw myself as having one option. The small-town charm along with my family history at the university made Louisiana Tech the perfect choice for 18-year-old Olivia. I knew what to expect in Ruston. I was comforted by the familiarity that came with being a fourth-generation Bulldawg. But, as it is for most freshmen, my transition into college life was difficult. The 60-mile drive to and from campus made my weekend plans easy. I needed to be in the place I felt most comfortable – home.
Throughout the years, I often found myself questioning my choice of school. My high school friends were meeting new people while traveling and living out of the country. They would come home with adventurous anecdotes while I felt stifled by the same small-town charm that once drew me in. I needed to try new things and make interesting choices of my own.
Within six months, I changed my major, joined a sorority, traveled alone to Europe, and saw movies alone (yes, in that order).
These were the first steps that led me to make a huge, life-changing decision a few months ago: I accepted a yearlong volunteer position with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps as a teacher’s aide in an early childhood center in Tucson, Arizona. It's a huge leap – 1,140 miles to be exact – but I’ve never felt more ready for anything. It’s my turn to explore outside my comfort zone in an unfamiliar city with people I’ve never met.
If you find yourself stuck, like I was, listen to my personal anthem for this journey, “Out on My Own” by Gabrielle Aplin. The chorus is pretty spot-on for this post-graduation, finding-yourself time period. (Side note: Mom – stop crying, I haven’t outgrown my home and I’ll be back for Christmas).
I may not have figured out what I want to do with the rest of my life, but for now, I’m excited to venture out on my own.