You can’t just stay here all your life. You can, but it won’t do you any good. Why would you want to stay here anyway? Sure, there are plenty of attractive young single people like you, but those will be here forever. You can also find them all over the world. So don’t use that as an excuse.
Utah Valley is comfortable. I get that. Maybe you just got here from somewhere else in the western United States. The climate may be different, and the lessons you’re learning about being an adult might be very new. You still use a washing machine and dryer to do your laundry. It’s likely you don’t even use money in your everyday life, rather you swipe your card for whatever you need whenever you need it, rarely having to plan ahead.
There will be very few times in your life when you will have the opportunity you have now. Nobody is depending on you for their financial support. While you may have started a small collection of usable furniture, most of it can be purchased again at a very low price. Most of you have a brother or sister getting back from their mission or graduating high school willing to buy or at the very least take care of your car while you’re away.
The time is now.
Programs to keep your status at school exist. If you’re worried about finding a job abroad wherever it is you go, don’t. Everyone in a foreign country wants to hire an American. Well, almost everyone. Don’t be foolish and go to some country or region where people hate the U.S.
For those of you that think you’ve lived abroad and experienced culture by going on a mission. Try again. This time go for you, for your future self, to learn from the natives, instead of teaching them. A week in Madrid, then three days in Paris, followed by five days traveling through Austria and Germany with your parents and those annoying siblings are hardly the experience you deserve.
I’ll admit it. I’ve hardly lived the cultural life I could have. I’ve seen more than some people but less than others. The point is not to compare me to you and Tommy to Jane. At some point the mirror is going to tell you where you should be and how much longer it’s willing to wait.
Maybe you think Utah has enough to offer. Perhaps you’re just starting to explore the West. Maybe you’ve even got a big cross-country trip planned. For some of you Vegas offers all the thrill you can handle. So maybe you get comfy and decide to settle down with that guy you’ve been dating for six weeks. Practically engagement time anyways.
I’m sure those pictures of you in front of the Mirage and Little New York will excite your future children to beg and plead for you to tell the story of that one weekend you went to Sin City. Right.
I promise you, nothing will serve as a greater testament in your life about how great it is to be an American than getting out of America. Seriously, you will appreciate this great and diverse land of plenty and opportunity more than you ever had previously. It won’t be because it’s better than some foreign land. You’ll love calling this wonderful land home when you see all of the variations or the world in each city you visit in our great nation.
So pack a duffel bag, a backpack, some good shoes and an English-whatever dictionary. Find your passport and apply for a visa. Save a few bucks and buy a cheap plane ticket. Don’t bother with the round-trip fare. You’ll find enough money for that eventually, and who knows how long you decide to stay.
Get out of here already. Send a postcard when you get there.