Being on your own is hard. Being on your own with out your parents and friends is harder. But being on your own, without your friends and family, in an unknown territory is the hardest. Some of your friends may have taken to easier root and gone to a school only and hour away or so, but you? You decided to make a huge decision at the age of 18, and that huge decision is what now defines you as a new adult.
1. You will get homesick.
Which is expected. Of course, you are going to have days that all you think about is home. You watch all of your friends get to drive back home every weekend while you are stuck on campus. The best way to avoid feeling this way is to occupy yourself with something interesting and fun. Go out with friends or get into the library to do your homework. Always make sure people surround you so you don’t feel lonely.
2. It will be hard to make friends at first.
The chance of you walking on to campus and making friends with the first person you talk with is slim-to-none. It’s okay if you don’t make friends right away; there are a lot of people who don’t have any or many friends either. You will know your true friends when they choose to grow with you.
3. It will be scary sometimes.
You won’t always know what to do. Some days you will feel like nothing is going right and you won’t know where or who to turn to. Remember to take a deep breath and understand that with time, this will all become easier. Sometimes you won't know your way around campus, or won't know what will be on your math midterm, but don’t be afraid to ask around. Everyone, even the students who are close to home, are just as scared as you are.
4. It’s a chance for you to re-invent yourself.
This is your new chance. If you don’t want to be the same person you were in high school, you don’t have to be. A benefit of going out of state is that you have little-to-no baggage because most of your friends decided to stay in state or go to a different school. Don’t lie to everyone and tell everyone that you’re training to be an astronaut, just take this opportunity to be the best version of yourself that you are. Be outgoing, take chances, and smile a lot.
5. You may not see your parents for months at a time.
There will be times in between breaks that you may not see your parents at all. Make sure you call them as much as possible. Trust me, they miss you as much as you miss them.
6. You will contemplate moving back home.
When you have a bad day, you will become lonely—it happens. But when you start to think about maybe moving back home, transferring schools, or maybe just getting a job that pays well enough to let you pay rent for your parents, remember the courage you had to make this life decision. Why would you want to give all that up?
7. You will feel left out when your friends back home are hanging out.
Some of your friends may be going to the same college, and a lot of your “squad” group will probably still be hanging out a lot. Make sure you ask them to keep the get together to themselves and maybe do yourself a favor and take yourself off the group chat if it gets too constant.
8. You will be on a different schedule.
If you’re going far enough away, you may be in completely different time zones. You’ll get calls from your parents, friends, and siblings at 6 am at least once a week (they tend to forget). And even if you aren’t out of state, your friends may start school, end school, or have spring break at a different time than you—you just have to get used to it.
9. You will miss a lot of people, but you’ll really miss your pet.
Of course, there is no easy way to tell Spot that you won't be able to see him again for a really long time. Make sure you frame his picture to keep up on your wall and always ask your parents how he is doing. It’s the only way to get through it.
10. It will be the best decision you ever made.
Don’t, for even a second, rethink your plan of moving out of state. Although there are some things that may make you scared or nervous, the pros out weigh the cons. You were bold enough to make the decision to move further away than most people at a young age, and for that you should be proud. You will go far in life and be able to look fear in the eye. Remember that this is a once in a lifetime chance—don’t give it up.
No matter the trouble, family and friends are just a phone call away and always remember that you are not the only out of state student at your school. Get involved in something you love, surround yourself with wonderful people, and always know that you are not alone. You made a great decision, so never look back and get ready to start your most exciting adventure.