By Anamika, age 14, Ohio
How many times have you said, "I can't wait until college! I can't wait until I can get out of this town."
We all want to "escape the nest", "spread our wings and fly", "break away" even.
But studies have shown that more and more people are returning to their hometowns - and conducting successful lives there. Now that doesn't mean that you should stay in a place where you thought you were genuinely unhappy. It means that you should explore more of what your town has to offer.
I remember thinking, as a five year old, that as soon as I became a "senior citizen" I would take all the classes at the local YMCA, because they were practically free for senior citizens. At the time, I had no inclination to think about high school or college, but I knew in my heart that I would take those classes. To my knowledge, no other cities like Boston, NYC, or LA offered that golden opportunity. I already had a kind of scoreboard put up - My Hometown: 1, NYC: 0. It's funny, because I knew that I didn't want to stay in Ohio forever. (I wanted to go where Harry Potter was!) But I also knew that where I was staying was a good place ... because they offered free classes for seniors.
It would be a good idea to check out your town and see what opportunities it has for a postgrad. Maybe it has an excellent medical internship program with a top hospital that happens to be located at the heart of your city. Maybe you're into the arts and know of several galleries that support many artists who produce your type of work. Whatever it is, I believe that you will be able to find some kind of connection with your town that an older 'you' will appreciate.
I'm not saying that you should stay in your town for the rest of your life - I'm not saying that at all. It is lovely to get out into the world and experience the cultures and traditions of others. But maybe, just maybe, it would also be lovely to have a comfortable place to come back home to after all of your worldly travels.
Just think about it.
Oh, and by the way, the song by Adele is wonderful testament to this topic, in my opinion. ;)