What it’s like to leave your hometown for the first time

When you’ve only lived in one place for your entire life, it can be hard to imagine living anywhere else. In CMT’s new series, a group of life-long friends suddenly find their relationships tested as they weather growing up — and for one of them, that might mean growing out of the small college town they call home.

Beth is the first of her friends and family to go to university, and after this semester, she’s finally set to graduate. But is she ready to leave her life in Gainesville, FL behind? Tune in to this season of Gainesville to find out! The series premieres Thursday, August 20 on CMT with back-to-back episodes. After all, there’s no place like home — but sometimes, you have to leave the pond and give the ocean a try.

Here’s what it’s like when you leave your hometown for the first time.

People will try to talk you out of it

In an ideal world, we’d have our friends and loved ones within walking distance at all times. It’s inevitable that people will fight for you to stay.

You’ll totally second guess your decision

Moving cities (or states or countries) is a huge decision to make, and definitely isn’t one to be taken lightly. It becomes even more daunting when you realize you’re shedding your safety blanket and going out on your own. Picking up your life and starting over somewhere else is no easy task — and it’s totally normal to want to call the whole thing off.

You’ll get super nostalgic

Both before you leave and after you go, your hometown will suddenly be peppered with emotional land mines. Whether it’s the place you had your first kiss or the place you get your favorite coffee, everything will suddenly feel drenched in meaning.

The excitement of “what if”s will become a daily thing

When you’re heading off into the great unknown, life feels full of possibilities. If you can’t imagine living anywhere but your hometown, you also can’t imagine what your life will be like once you get there.

No one will want to talk about anything else

Before you leave, people will constantly tell you they can’t believe you’re leaving. After you’ve left, people will constantly tell you they can’t believe you left.

Saying your goodbyes will feel impossible

You’ve likely never had to go without seeing your close friends or family for more than a week — if that. The prospect of not seeing them until the next holiday break will feel insurmountable.

At first, you’ll feel terrible for leaving

When you leave the place you’ve spent your entire life, it’s easy to feel guilty — for leaving, for abandoning your friends and family, for wanting more out of life.

… But then, it’ll just be a relief

When you grow up in a small town, it can feel like you’re never going to get out. So when you do, the world truly feels like your oyster.

Gainesville premieres Thursday, August 20 at 10/9c on CMT — and we can’t wait to tune in!