Ever heard the phrase, "Never bite off more than you can chew?" Clearly, me neither.
The enormity of moving 900 miles away to attend a university at which I have no ties didn't really hit me until I was seated among 4,000 students at freshman convocation. Although overwhelming and at times terrifying, this huge leap is rewarding, exhilarating, and hopefully, relatable to many.
Here's to the out-of-state students, the minority, the risk takers, and those so fulfilled because of that risk. Here's to the many things that unite us, whether you're an in-state or out-of-state student. Here's to four years of spreading your wings, catching a gust of wind, and going for it.
1. Not understanding the geography of the region.
Don't be alarmed when we ask you to point in the direction of your hometown.
2. Bitter jealousy of quick weekend trips home.
"PLEASE BRING ME WITH YOU!"
3. Trying desperately to catch up with the local lingo...
Is Urban Dictionary an appropriate resource?
4. ... and all of the collegiate abbreviations.
Please just spell it out for us -- we're new here.
5. Then taking endless nagging to stop using said lingo and abbreviations back home.
Stop trying to make "fetch" happen. It's not going to happen.
6. Developing a fascination for the food options of your new region.
They don't have fried okra in the Midwest and no acai bowls in the South.
7. Learning to love new fast food chains.
Unfortunately, Whataburger, Moe's, Bojangles, In-N-Out, Chick-fil-A and CookOut are only regional chains.
8. Constantly bragging about your hometown to anyone who will listen.
Because it will always be the best.
9. Experiencing the ultimate freedom while riding in a car.
Going to Walmart? Call us!
10. Jumping on any dog or baby you see.
We are deprived and make the best house- and babysitters.
11. Having to meet your roommate on Facebook.
Or through your second cousin's ex-boyfriend's little sister's best friend.
12. Finding any connections possible from your hometown...
Or even region, let's be honest.
13. ... and creating a sort of secret club...
Only they know the truth of your swaggy city.
14. ... then jumping them every time you see them.
"Someone I know!"
14. Getting overly excited when someone from home comes to visit.
Dedication is buying a plane ticket for someone.
15. Creating registries at Target, The Container Store, and Bed, Bath & Beyond.
We become the ultimate planners.
16. Accepting the loss of broken items from the plane ride over.
Another coffee mug?
17. Navigating that first birthday away from home.
We accept cupcakes.
18. Wondering how so many people know so many people so quickly.
Oh, 47 other kids came from your high school?
19. Feeling left out of the in-state crowd.
I vacationed here once!
20. Searching for set-ups to date functions or cocktails.
Fresh-out-of-high-school friends to ask.
21. Juggling the time difference between yourself and your parents and friends.
Remind us that you're an hour behind!
22. Counting down the days until you see your house again.
Incredibly low key. Only on the whiteboard in our dorm rooms.
23. ... but anxiously awaiting returning back to your school after breaks.
The weather is just better, I swear.
24. Adapting your wardrobe for your new climate ...
"Mom, but I'm about to suffer in 5 feet of snow."
25. ... and the new trends.
The first time you'll see Texans wearing L.L. Bean duck boots.
26. Convincing younger friends to apply.
Out-of-state is cool!!!
27. Wheezing while walking across campus.
We will blame it on the altitude or hills. Don't accept our excuses.
28. Bonding with other out-of-staters easily.
We understand each other's struggles.
29. Googling names of athletes because you didn't grow up a fan.
We'll know by senior year. Hopefully. No promises.
30. Converting your parents into die-hard fans.
After all, your childhood was already deprived.
31. Reminding people that your real ID is indeed real.
Yours look fake to us, too.
32. Pulling your state up on Google Maps to show everyone exactly where it's located.
Yup, that's Tennessee right there alright.
33. Searching for potential friends with a mountain, lake or beach house.
Now accepting applications.
34. Realizing the ultimate struggle is getting sick and needing to go to the doctor.
This forces us to ask our dad's cardiologist friend to write us a prescription. (It was one Z-Pack).
35. Carpooling with other out-of-state students to the airport.
Let's just all Uber together.
36. Anticipating care packages from home.
Not only do they have more snacks, but also your good tennis shoes you forgot to pack.
37. Eating at a chain restaurant you also have at home and automatically feeling at home.
The golden words are "the guac is extra."
38. Fielding the questions about why you chose your particular school...
Same reason as you! (It rocks).
39. ... and how your transition is going.
Oh, it's going.
40. Experiencing FOMO because of your friends all together at the same school.
Photoshop us into your Instagrams, people.
41. Showing said Instagrams to your new friends to explain your old friends.
Is it making sense to you yet?
42. Cheering by yourself when your home team is playing.
C'mon, you can't tell us you don't love our teams as much as we do.
43. Wondering how the international students do it.
There's an ocean between you and your dog?
44. Missing out on the "day trips" from parents or old friends.
We don't get how your mom is just popping up for lunch.
45. Begging your new friends to come back home with you.
It's not as boring as it sounds.
46. Being proud of creating roots so far from home.
Only a little potting soil needed.
47. Realizing there's nothing better than a fresh start.
Goodbye, high school!
48. Learning to love your new city...
49. ... and the people that make it home.
You're the real MVPs of the game.