T Nation

Leaving Boyhood Behind


Hi everyone, im looking to both share a story with you all and get some of your views or advice for me going forward.

So im 23 years old and have just finished 4 years of university, ive gained a BSc in geology and an MSc in geotechnical engineering and everything is great in that respect. Over these 4 years ive maintained good relationships with my family and friends as both universities werent that far away from my home town. I commuted for the first 3 years and was only staying an hour away for the last year.

Anyway, its gotten to the point where im searching hard for graduate jobs and such, because of my degrees, these positions are fairly specialist and jobs are few and far between. So any potential job that does present itself sooner or later will inevitably mean i will be leaving home and moving some considerable distance away.

None of my close childhood friends have followed the same path as me and many didnt attend university, which is of course perfectly fine. They work reasonable jobs and enjoy their lives. I however will essentially be the lone wolf or black sheep and will be taking the first step into the unknown without any of my friends to share similar experiences.

It also feels like i will be leaving behind great things and when the move does come i will have to start over from scratch, which concerns me. The idea of having independence and having to stand on my own 2 feet is appealing, i dont want to burden my parents any longer than is necessary and i know that they would welcome me to stay as long as i wanted, but a man doesnt become a man until he accepts responsibility and grows a pair.

I have a lot going through my mind at the moment and no doubt have neglected to mention everything that i wanted to say but, do any of you fellow Tnation readers have any hard truths or stories that you can share to clarify/ease/correct what i should be thinking or feeling.

When it all boils down to it, i think im scared of not being independent and scared of severing all ties to my hometown and family and friends...

Also what the hell is working life like? Obviously different depending on your chosen career but as a student, life is easy to roll out of bed whenever, attend class, do work, drink beer with your buddies who are all around you and stay up late playing games, hitting the gym... The thought of working, eating, sleeping for 10 hours a day concerns me, i dont want to be a slave to the system really, as what does the system do for us?

Anyway enough of the ranting, im clearly borderline hysterical haha, just want to hear some personal stories or whatever, cheers fellas!


it's called getting older. Quit being such a pussy and get on with it.


I moved from the west to the east for school. If you approached school as a big party then yes you are in for a awakening.

As far as being a slave to the system. I assume you graduated into something you enjoy so I wouldn't feel that way. But to avoid the slave aspect avoid debt. Debt will force you to work for a creditor. If you have debt pay it off and work hard till it's all gone.

Lastly I wouldn't be worried about leaving the old chapter of your life and starting a new one! You will make new friends in the new area. Go where the work is man.


Well, you are covering a lot of ground with your question, so I'll spare you my thoughts on working life and "the system" and just stick to some highlights of my experiences with moving far away from home and leaving my childhood friends behind.

First and foremost, do not be afraid to excel. Your friends may be content with mediocrity in their home town, and there is nothing wrong with that. You seem to have bigger things in mind, which is great. You are now in a position where you need to seek out your opportunities. Jump on them as they arise, give it your best effort and see where that takes you.

If you have the right combination of luck, determination and talent, you will probably find yourself in a position where your life achievements exceed those of many of your childhood peers. Do not be afraid of this outcome. The key is to stay grounded and not be a dick about your success to your childhood peers. Stay humble, and understand that the kid you knew who chose plumbing as a career could, in fact, be just as happy with his life as you are with yours.

Additionally, there's no need to sever these relationships. [/Lights up a pipe] Nowadays, you kids have all manner of technology available to keep these relationships intact. Skype, Facebook, email, portable cellular telephones, the postal service and our venerable telegraph system are all at your fingertips to keep in touch. [/empties pipe out in ashtray]

My experience, on the other hand, was that I grew distant from most of my childhood friends as our paths moved further and further apart, both metaphorically and geographically. I stayed in touch through most of my 20's, but by the time I hit 30 my contact with many of my formerly close friends is relegated to an occasional email or phone call. That is not the end of the world, either. New relationships will arise as you find yourself in new places with new people and new experiences.

It is all good man. Seek out opportunities and capitalize on the ones that seek you out. You may be surprised where you end up. Ride the wave and enjoy it.


You will come to accept your soulless existence as a slave to the system. Day in and day out performing the same menial tasks that serve only to deplete your vigor for life until time finally brings the sweet release of death.


this guy gets it


Here's how the 20's go for many:
Early 20s: Be stupid, have fun, get in trouble, be forgiven because you're young and stupid. You seek validation that you exist.

Early/Mid: Venture out, get job, still a little stupid. You have a little money now and feel you've earned at least a modicum of respect, so you have fun, feel you've earned something and get down. YOu post a lot online to let everyone know you ARE.

Mid 20s: You move away, or your long time friends do. The friends left are all people you either have to do an actual activity with (hiking, liftin, tennis, whatever), you know from work, or you just go drinking. Maybe you have a steady girl by now. You let everyone know you are on the right path to happiness.

Mid/late: You drink too much because you have money, but your work sucks up most of your energy to do much else. Your friendships haven't evolved much past activity partner/drinking buddy and your old friends start settling into their new lives. If you're still w/ your girl, you're looking to get married; otherwise, you drink too much, but you at least keep doing something... anything to stay distracted and let people know you don't suck.

Late 20s: Maybe you're married and focused on career/family. Maybe you drink less now, but do more activities (yoga, lifting, bowling, sewing, whatever) and, in turn, you have more activity friends. You aren't as optimistic, nor as naive... so it doesn't bother you when things don't work out. You've also established a bit of financial security for yourself, so you can handle the bumps in the road. But bad things start happening: your parents are old enough to be diagnosed with cancer, you pull out your back and struggle w/ it forever, your sister's newborn dies... you now have a history of ups and downs and have taken part in humanity and the perspective to appreciate it. Your validation comes through children or partner if you have them, your remaining relationships, your gained skill in activities of interest or work.


Well, I spared him my thoughts on working life and "the system" so he would not have to confront these terrifying truths about life.

Besides, didn't he say he's a geologist? I think he'll be having lots of adventures, finding ancient treasures in faraway lands, interacting with primitive tribes, thwarting Nazis and relying on his trusty bullwhip to get him out of trouble.


lmao... Y'all need some hobbies, more pussy, more booze or better friends lol.


No worries......it is as it has always been.
Even a porn star wakes up in the morning thinking......if I have to go in there and f#*k one more time I'm going to loose my mind!


I think I can read between the lines here. I'll buy some cocaine tomorrow.


OP will be ok because he doesn't seem to care about thinking for himself.

Yeah that sounds jaded and like I'm flaunting my internet arm chair psychology expertise but....

That's just the impression I get from your writing.


I agree with the good doctor.


That's the sprite!

But seriously... Life really is what you make it. If your job is miserable and you let it make the rest of your life miserable, that shit is on you.

If your life is miserable and you let it make your job miserable, on you again.

If you can't find a job you enjoy, or a way to enjoy the job you have, again, on you.

If you can't help your life's misery (death, sickness, etc) find some help, someone to talk to or lean on to help you...


Jezz got some serious sour pusses in here...

OP, life is all about new experiences. Don't be afraid to leave home. I left at 18 and came back at 22. Many of my HS friends are still here and I've re-connected with a few. More importantly I met a handful of people that are now some of my closest friends (even though we live states apart).

You can always re-connect with old friends, but you have to make the connection first.

My advice:

1.) Take a job anywhere you're interested in going.
2.) Try it for a couple years.
3.) Try new things and meet new people.
4.) Stay, go someplace else, or go home.


I've done the very thing you are freaking out about. I've grown apart from my childhood friends, and that is fine. (Most of their life paths didn't really lead them anywhere positive, and there are a few suicides, drug addictions and federal prison terms thrown in there, but you might hang out with different minded people.)

Stop worrying about it, and dive the fuck in man. Yes you might be lonely for a little while, but learn to enjoy it, because once you are married and have kids, lmao... You'll long for time alone more than just taking a shit, assuming you can even do that without your toddler asking "daddy can I see your poop poo?" (You'll say yes too, btw.)

I met my wife and two of the best friends I've ever had out here, and become part of a new family. Growing apart from my roots (or out-growing you could say) was the best thing that's ever happened to me.

Just as easy as being in college, just less free time.

Can do, and has been done by millions, even with a job lol.

You're only a "slave" if you want to be one.




Get comfortable being uncomfortable and do what you have to.


You wake up at 6. Get to work by 7. Labor in excruciatingly hot temperatures in jeans. You're off at 10 PM, 9 PM if you're lucky.

You get home. You take a shower. You go to bed.

You wake up at 6. Get to work by 7. Labor in excruciatingly hot temperatures in jeans. You're off at 10 PM, 9 PM if you're lucky.

You get home. You take a shower. You go to bed.

Ad nauseum.

I suppose overtime made up for it. Oh, and feeling extremely fulfilled for the work I did.

Seriously, wtf is the "system"? (usmccds423- Please don't take this quite as literally as you took my question to angry chicken)


Yogi - i guess in a nut shell this really is the answer, so although at first i wasnt impressed with your response, i do thankyou for your straight and narrow style approach.

Ryancoburn - yes i do enjoy what ive studied and like ive said im looking forward to the new chapter, but at the expense of leaving the old chapter behind it just feels like one of those decisions that shouldnt be made in the blink of an eye... As far as slave to the system, i simply mean im begrudgingly expecting to have to drastically cut back on chill time and social activities, meaning less opportunity to make new friends.

Twojarslave - i like what you have said, it seems in line with what i believe deep down is what i want to do, just at the moment am slightly anxious to make the jump. theres no chance of me becoming ungrounded, my friends quite often will take the piss out of my area of study (you love rocks etc) and always proclaim how theyre enjoying life more than me because theyre out boozing every weekend. technology is a wonderful thing i guess this will be great for remaining in the loop. Thanks for your outlook and experiences so far theyve been comforting and reassuring, i appreciate that alot.

Csulli - perhaps joining a group of freedom fighters or hippies is the way to go then?

1manisland - im not entirely sure that fits me so far, or that i want it to in the near future

Twojarslave - also i think your referring to indiana jones the archaeologist, geologists just play with dirt, but i like the idea, perhaps i should go travelling looking for treasure haha.

Countingbeans - hahahaha im guessing that you dont share these cynical views...

Bluecollartr8n - hasnt everyone at one point or another atleast wanted to try being a porn star though, i imagine it would take a while to get bored of haha

sutebun - interesting observation, what about my writings suggest not wanting to think for myself? at the end of the day it will be me who makes any decisions, i only wanted some advice from people who may have been in a similar position before. i prefer to think of it as sort of preparation...

countingbeans - i agree with what youve said, i dont plan on enduring any type of misery that is in my power to change, thats nonsensical!

Usmccds423 - thanks for the input, this seems like great advice backed up with a personal experience, this is exactly what i had hoped for.

Countingbeans - it seems like im just getting worried about nothing then, as many of you have suggested its not bad at all to move on and is positive in many regards. "Dive the fuck in" i think im gonna take that quote to think on whenever i come to a place like this again, thanks countingbeans!

Brolac - interesting perspective! another one to take to the bank!

magick - there in lies the problem, who the hell wants the be tied to such a boring and monotonous schedule