Seven Things You Should Know Before You Move Away from Home
Whether you’re moving from Birmingham or Bangalore to Bristol or Budapest, there are a few things that never change. Sammy Jones writes from the front line of a particularly nasty bout of homesickness.
Living away from home can be grim sometimes. Missing your best friend’s birthday or being the one red shirt in a sea of white-shirted rugby supporters is never fun.
From the moment I was shipped off to Reading from Swansea to get a degree down my face, I knew things would never be quite the same again. Although I’m sure all three of my little brothers (and probably you) are clawing at the walls to get out of your family home, here’s some stuff you should know before you burn all bridges, sever all ties and eat ice cream every meal for a week (whether it be for uni, work or simple boredom).
You’ll feel it most keenly on special occasions
Birthdays are weird, Christmas is weirder, and forgetting your mum’s birthday is a hundred times as horrible when you’re over a hundred miles away. Postage charges get pretty steep when you try and send her a full-size cardboard cutout of Michael Bublé to make up for it, trust me.
Some days all you’ll want to talk about is your hometown
Sporting events, Eurovision competitions and even dinnertimes can spark off an hour-long monologue about how your hometown is the best/worst/weirdest/has the most ceramic shops per square mile in the UK. You know who your true friends are when they’ll let you bang on about your dad’s mashed potato for an hour and a half.
Your accent will drop off
When I got to uni, nobody could understand what I was saying. I had to tone down my accent in order to survive. All I get now is, ‘but you don’t SOUND Welsh?’ Yeah, you wouldn’t be able to understand me if I did, mate. Your fault, not mine. If you’re struggling to get your point across due to a similar cultural difference, I recommend watching Hugh Grant and Emma Watson videos until you want to throttle them both (five minutes then?) Sometimes I feel like Ross off of Friends trying to be ‘British’.
You’ll feel like a culture traitor
LOOK AT ME IN PRET-A-MANGER. I’M QUEEN OF THE WORLD. This elation will make you feel inexplicably guilty about your family who are ecstatic when the village post office manages to cling on for one more week. Sorry nan.
All the things that are nice about your hometown will become crystalline delight in hindsight
Aw, the sea. Aw, the sky. Aw, the Wimpy by the bowling alley. All the things that seemed awful at the time will be framed in rainbows and unicorns in your memory (looking very similar to the snaps you got from that cheesy photo booth in the shopping centre.)
You’ll feel bad when you meet someone from where you’re from and you don’t like them
This makes me so upset. I want to cling to you and use you as a conversational buoy in this sea of uncertainty, but you’re an idiot, so now I hate you and I hate me for hating you. THANKS A BUNCH.
You’ll feel dead proud of yourself sometimes
You know you’ll never really fit in, and that’s okay. When people talk about growing up in the place you’ve moved to, or you get lost trying to find the post office, you can’t help but feel a bit displaced. That’s cool though. You’ve made a whole new life for yourself far from the place you felt comfortable in. You’ve made a massive change to make life better for yourself. And that’s brave and awesome.