9 Things To Consider Before Going To College Out Of State

9 Things To Consider Before Going To College Out Of State

It is so hard and so worth it.

Choosing where to go to college is an enormous decision. There are so many things to consider, including the location of all the schools you're looking at. You don't want to overestimate yourself, but you don't want to take the easy route. Let me tell you, going out of state is the best decision you can make. If you're independent and wanting to try something new and going out of state has been in the back of your mind all senior year - do it. You will grow and learn and it will be hard, but man oh man will you love it. It's not for everyone, but if you're even a little bit considering it - do it. Here are 9 honest things to help you think realistically about all that going out of state means.

1. You will get more mail than you’ve ever gotten in your life.

One exciting part about going to school out of state is that people are way more likely to send you cards and packages than if you’re just down the street. It’s exciting to get something in the mail, and it’s also fun to send things yourself. If you go to school out of state, make sure to add stamps and envelopes to your packing list.

2. You will miss all of the high school games.

Unless you’re able to make it home for a weekend or two, plan on missing out on the high school games. When they make it to tournament and all of your high school friends who are in-state get to go, you will be one of the few that don’t. When your siblings make it onto the high school team, be prepared to miss most of their games. This is just one of those things that comes with the distance and ends up hurting a little more than you’ll expect.

3. You will miss the birthdays.

Your dad’s, your best friend’s, your own, you are going to miss a lot of birthdays once you’re a plane ride away. Be prepared to see the pictures and hear the “We wish you were here!”’s because they’re going to make you wish you were there, too.

4. Travel is going to get real expensive, real quick.

Get ready for some expensive trips home. Whether it’s paying for all the gas it’s going to take, a bus ticket, or a plane ticket, by going to school out of state you are agreeing to swallow the price when it comes to going home. Suddenly dropping a couple hundred on a plane ticket won’t seem unrealistic. Start the coin jar now.

5. People are way more likely to visit you.

This is super fun. By going out of state, your friends are going to come visit you and they are going to stay for longer than a night or even a weekend. Once someone has to pay for a plane ticket, they’re willing to stay for a longer amount of time. This means you get to show your favorite people from home around your new favorite place, and you don’t have to rush to do it. Everything will be new and exciting and there will be no shortage of things to do with your visitors. This also means you should invest in a good air mattress and an extra pillow.

6. You will miss a lot of long weekends and spring breaks.

Going to school out of state usually means that you’re on a different schedule than the schools at home. This might mean you start school early, you don’t have the same long weekends, or you don’t have the same spring break. It’s always fine until you see everyone from home in one picture together, and it just kind of hurts your heart that you’re not there. Of course, you can still go home if you need to, just prepare yourself to be on different schedules than most of your childhood friends.

7. You will go on adventures like never before.

Now that you’re on a different schedule than home and in a different state, you are going to be faced with two options. You can either spend your weekends in your bed, looking through the Instagram pictures of best friends getting to see each other at home or siblings being together for the weekend, or you can get out and do something that no one at home can do. If you choose to do this, you will strengthen the school friendships that you bring along with you, and you will do things and go places that you never would have if you had the opportunity to go home every weekend. You will get to see new places and try new things, and I promise it will become just as sweet as getting to go home for the weekend.

8. Time at home will become 1,000 times sweeter.

Since you’re not going home every weekend, everyone at home will know when you’re home. People will be so excited to see you. Your family and friends will want to spend so much time with you. They will also have learned that your time home is short, and they will jam pack it with so much love and so many hugs you won’t even know what to do. Coming home will turn into a big party with so many of your favorite people. There will never be enough time to catch up on the life that has happened. You will have so many stories to tell and so many people who are eager to hear. Going out of state makes you have an entirely new appreciation for going home.

9. It's the best decision you could make.

If you’re independent, craving a challenge, and love the idea of trying something new, go out of state. You will think that you can’t handle it, and the truth is there will be plenty of days where you can’t. But you will learn so, so much. For real so much. About yourself and about friendships and relationships and family and distance, and your definition of home will be shattered and rebuilt into something entirely new. You will make stronger friendships than ever before and just see so many things in a different way. Don’t be afraid to take the leap, it will be so worth it.

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Cook

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.


When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

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Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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Sports And Religion

Why are so many athletes religious?


I recently just made it on to the USC Track and Field team, and it is easily the biggest accomplishment I have ever made in my entire life. I worked so hard to physically and mentally prepare to try out for the team, let alone actually make it. I thank God for allowing me to have the chance to be a part of this team, as well as giving me that physical and mental strength required to do so, and I express this whenever someone congratulates me for making the team or even asks if I made it or not. However, I noticed that when I did this, some of the responses were a bit dismissive when I brought religion into the picture. When I said I thank God for it, I would be met with responses like "Yea well even aside from God..." or another response that drew the conversation away from my faith, away from the concept of a god.

In fact, I've noticed that many athletes are religious in some form-- more so collectively than other student bodies aside from religious groups themselves. I thought about why this may be, aside from the obvious answer such as growing up religious at home, because that does not answer the question; many people grew up in a religious household and are not religious themselves. So, I began to think personally. Why do I thank God for my athletic performance? There's a certain level of uncertainty within every sport. All athletes train their hardest to minimize this level of uncertainty, in order to maximize their chances of success. However, you can only train so hard. To me, no matter how hard you train, there's always some type of level of uncertainty to every level of performance: the chances of you getting injured, the chances of you winning your game or race, the chances of the opponent's performance, etc. This is where I think God intervenes, and perhaps other athletes would agree. There have been countless times where I ran well and had absolutely no idea how I did it. Yes, I worked hard to improve my times, but when you are in the moment of a race, or a game, that fades into the background, especially when everyone else has been working just as hard. It's just you, your race (or game), and God. That's it.

I could have not made the team. As a walk-on, there is more pressure for you to perform since the coaches did not seek you out; you sought them out. You are proving your abilities. Thus, I was nervous about my chances of actually making the team, especially considering the fact that the USC track team is arguably the best collegiate track team in the United States. I performed well during my try out and finished all the workouts, however I wasn't as fast as the other girls. In addition, I was 3 minutes late to my last day of tryouts and got chewed out by the coach for it. I was convinced that I blew my chances. And yet, somehow, I made it. I worked so hard for it, yes, but I thank God for keeping my body healthy so I could train to the best of my ability. I thank Him for allowing the coaches to have the time to try me out. I thank Him for allowing them to see my potential. I thank Him for giving me the best high school track coach possible who prepared me mentally and physically, as well as supported me throughout all the highs and all the lows. I thank Him for giving me this chance to continue my track career at the most prestigious collegiate team. My gratitude for all this, is simply infinite.

There is good reason why many athletes are religious; being an athlete requires you to be more than yourself. It requires you to dig deeper, into places that you didn't even think were possible, and really aren't without the belief of a higher power. The belief in a higher power, in whatever form or name that takes, means the belief in infinite possibility. And for an athlete to have that, means nothing can stop them from chasing their dreams.

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