Leave: Expand your horizons

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“To understand the world, one must first understand a place like Mississippi.” This is a quote by Mississippi native William Faulkner. I love that quote, and to some extent I agree with it.
But there’s one problem.

Many people understand Mississippi and never move on to understand any other part of the world.

I am from Clinton and that’s where I was born and raised. I loved growing up there. However, as I am about to graduate college and find a new home for myself, Mississippi is not the place I want to be.
For starters, the opportunities in Mississippi are limited. With the exception of a few majors, everyone could enjoy better living, benefits and pay in other states.

Also, Mississippi is kind of boring. When I think about it, my form of entertainment around here is getting a snow cone, riding my bike, going to the movies or hanging out with my friends or family at home.
Though that is a great, simple lifestyle, I’m 21 years old. I want to go to the beach more often. I want to be near a theme park or water park and I want to live next to a cool zoo or aquarium – maybe even an interesting museum.

I also don’t want to get stuck.Something I have learned from friends and family: you tend to get stuck here. It’s as if no one seems to really want to live here. You end up getting a job, having a baby and then buying a house, and it’s just a cycle that keeps you here instead of taking the opportunity to move on in this world.

Essentially, if you don’t leave when you’re younger and free, you probably never will.

Finally, it is important to know what you want. Here’s the thing: people who were born in Mississippi and have lived here their whole lives know what it’s like to live here, so they never expand their horizons. They just say, “well, I’m comfortable here so I’ll just stay,” but they don’t even know if they’d like it somewhere else.

If you move to a city, you might actually like it way more and be 10 times more successful there than you ever would have in Mississippi, but most people are not bold enough to take that chance.

Mississippi has taught me everything I know about life. I wouldn’t have wanted to grow up or live anywhere else my first 21 years of life, but I think it’s time for me to move on.

Who knows? Maybe when I’m older I’ll realize that no place could ever compare to Mississippi and I’ll move back here someday. But I’d rather take my chances and go somewhere new and miss it, than be stuck here and wonder what could have been.