It’s crazy how fast a month can go when you’re having fun. One moment you’re greeting a certain lovely lady at the airport, and the next you’re back at the airport saying goodbye. And now I’m staring down the barrel of my second move to Kingston less than 36 hours from now.

I can’t help but reflect on the last time I did this, four years ago.

A lot has changed since then. That gut-wrenching, paralyzing fear that I felt back in 2009 isn’t here right now. I’m still nervous, but back then it was the type of fear that kept me up at night.

Part of that comes from experience. In 2009 I hadn’t spent more than four days away from my family. But between school and my numerous overseas adventures, I’ve now spent the better part of the last four years away from my family. Granted, a good portion of that time was spent in Toronto, where I could go back and see my family at will. Nevertheless, I’ve proven to myself that I can handle being away from my family.

My present long-distance relationship has helped with that in a roundabout way. When I first moved to Kingston, I felt like I was moving to the other end of the earth. But let me tell you, there’s nothing like dating a girl who lives 5500 kilometres away to make you realize what an insignificant distance 250 kilometres is. In the same way, eight hour flights make three hour train journeys feel like nothing.

Another thing that helps is that I didn’t choose to leave this time around. In 2009 I had to make a very difficult choice between Queen’s and Toronto. I had the choice of staying close to home, and I turned it down. As a result, from the moment I decided on Queen’s I was gripped by the terrible feeling that I had made a horrible mistake. This time, Toronto wasn’t even on the table. And although that fact cuts me up more than you can imagine, I can’t change it, so I just have to accept it and move on. At the very least it’s helped to reduce my anxiety about moving away.

Finally, I feel like I have a lot less to lose than I did the first time around. In 2009 I was on top of the world. Despite a slow start to high school I managed to have a very successful final year, and I couldn’t be happier about how things ended up. And just as I was peaking, high school ended and I was forced to move on. And the fear of losing all of the relationships that I had spent the last two years building up weighed heavily on me. I felt that in moving away I was dooming a significant number of friendships, and the thought of that terrified me.

Now, well… It’s sad to say, but I’m not exactly going out on a high note. My second year of university was without a doubt the best of my life. It was Floor 12. A year of card games, pornography, kraft dinner, truth or dare sessions, sad stories, lap dances, fruit fights, illicit trysts, and friendships with the single greatest group of people that I have ever been a part of.

But, it was three years ago. And almost every member of Floor 12 has since moved on, either geographically or otherwise. I’m leaving a few friends behind in Toronto that I will miss dearly and will do my best to keep in touch with, but otherwise I don’t feel like I’m leaving as much behind me as I was back then. And while it’s a bit sad to think of it that way, it helps me to be less nervous about this whole thing.

Four years ago a fresh start was the last thing I wanted. Now, I don’t think that it’s such a bad idea. Hopefully that will make all the difference in the end.