It's that time of year: we've all packed up and moved into a matchbox of a room (or an apartment if you're really lucky), said goodbyes to our parents, and enjoyed the multitudes of free everything during welcome week. Coming to the University of Cincinnati, I knew there wasn't anyone else from my high school that goes here. Our town is pretty small, and we're close enough to Columbus that a lot of people go to Ohio State or one of their branch campus. These are a few of the things I've discovered about being the only person from my hometown at a large school, in the whole whopping two weeks I've been on campus.
1. When you're alone, you're REALLY alone
My roommate is from the Cleveland area, so she lives even further away from home, but she knows at least a dozen kids from her high school here, and she's run into a few of them already when we've been walking around campus. If I'm not hanging out with band kids, I usually just sit in my room because I don't know anyone else from here right now.
2. You spend a lot of time with your roommate.
I lucked out in making an awesome friend when I selected my roommate after we connected on Facebook, and because of that, we tend to spend most of our time together if we can, even if it's just grabbing a quick lunch on our way to separate places.
3. It sort of feels like kindergarten all over again.
You're alone without your parents, you don't know anyone, and you have scheduled nap times? The similarities are a little disturbing. As someone who is very introverted, I struggle anyways to meet new people if I don't know that we have a common interest, therefore, a lot of times I'll just sit awkwardly by myself with some coffee and my earbuds in.
4. You call home a lot.
I've called my mom and friends more in the past two weeks than I have in the many years I've had a cell phone.
5. The homesickness is real.
Watching people who at least know each other from high school makes me miss living in a small town, where you knew just about everyone in your grade at the very least. In high school, I'd grown up with the same group of friends since middle school at the very least. Going somewhere far enough away that people can't randomly visit on a whim can feel a bit isolating, even with a large student population.
6. You really do get a fresh start in college.
Moving to a school where no one knows me, I almost get a clean slate. I can be someone else from the person I've been for the past 18 years and here, no one would know the difference. Having to start all over is exhausting and lonely at times, but I know I will make lots of memories from it.