The only thing scarier than moving away from home is never moving away from home.
In 2010, a mere three months after graduating from high school, I moved away from my home in Whitby, Ontario to reside in a new home, Sackville, New Brunswick. Don’t be hard on your geographical proficiency if that name doesn’t ring a bell – the raging metropolis of Sackville is home to a sizable 5558 people, and that’s including the students who leave for the summer.
I attended Mount Allison University, which is located right in the heart of the town. At 18 years old, I began my first of four school years living over 1500 km away from the only house I’d ever lived in. I quickly learned that Sackville was the place where I would find myself.
My love story with Sackville is one that continues to grow, although I haven’t lived there in over two years. It’s a story that began upon immediately arriving in September 2010 and, like all true romances, it had its ups accompanied by the downs; but the ups always prevailed. Sackville’s character is as classic as a small town’s aesthetic can get – it is filled with old brick buildings, encompassed by hundreds of trees, dirt paths, marsh, and, if you walk far enough, the big, cold, and beautiful Atlantic Ocean. I studied English Literature, with an emphasis on poetry, and I stood in the very places where Canadian poet Sir Charles G.D. Roberts compiled his affecting words.
Sackville was the perfect place to receive my university education, as well as the perfect place to meet the friends who rapidly became family. Not only did Sackville provide me with a meaningful education; but, more importantly, genuine friendship. When I reflect on my time in that eclectic little town, I don’t remember essay deadlines, exam week, or studying. My nostalgia is deeply rooted in people who I spent my time with, and the happy feelings of finding myself in a place where I was surrounded by like-minded people in a tight-knit community. Leaving home is important, and is an experience that everyone should encounter. You never know what you might find in yourself and in others.