There is nothing like going to college.
This is one time in your life where you learn, grow, and change more than any other time. But what I've learned after going to school out of state and away from your comfort zone, is it really forces you to learn some hard lessons that you wouldn't have necessarily learned before.
Here are 8 things I've learned from going to school away from home.
1. You found some of your true ride-or-die friends.
Being out of state you're going to want to find friends that turn into your family. You're going to need a support system that is there for you through the crap and has your back and loves you like your mom would. During the tough times, this is so so important. They also are going to be there to make those quintessential college memories that you're going to cherish for the rest of your life. Good friends are hard to find, but once you do hold on to them because you'll be grateful.
2. You like to call your mom... Maybe more than once a day.
I am not going to lie, I probably annoyed my mom with the number of times I would call her my freshman year of college. Don't be ashamed to call your family! If you need them, call them! If you just want to hear their voice to know that everything is alright, call them! As much as you may think you don't "need" your family anymore, it's still okay to call your mom every once in a while!
3. You cry and miss home a little bit too much.
Go ahead, let it all out. Some days are harder than others. If you thought that you weren't ever going to miss home, you thought wrong! There is a certain level of comfort about home and its normal to miss that, so cry baby cry! Let it all out and have one of those good cries with the snot coming down your face, you're gonna need it.
4. You start to wonder if you made the right choice leaving home.
There is always that point where you start to wonder if you made the right decision leaving home and coming to a whole new town, state or even country for school. Questions like, "Was this really the right choice?" or "Should I transfer somewhere closer to home next semester?" might start to pass through your head. Stick it out. Don't let the doubt creep into your head and psych you out. You can handle it.
5. You've become an expert at packing.
After the first or second trip home you finally learned the tricks of the trade on how to pack. Pretty soon you've started packing 5 minutes before leaving for the airport with just a backpack for a week's trip because you're just that good. It may have taken a few trips and a series of trial and error but you'll finally get there!
6. You REALLY appreciate home-cooked meals.
Although all college students appreciate a meal cooked by mom, those that don't get to go home on the weekends really appreciate those home-cooked meals when we get them. Getting to go home and have one of mom's dinners is just about as blissful as it gets.
7. Holiday breaks are the most exciting time.
When Thanksgiving break rolls around and you know that its almost time to go home and see your family that's about all you can really think about. I am basically useless the week before Christmas break knowing that I get to go home for a month. Just the excitement of knowing that pretty soon you'll be back home, with your family, in your comfort zone again is the greatest feeling.
8. Leaving to come back to school after a break is confusing.
This is me every time after a break. I am excited to get back to school, have my freedom back, see my friends, sometimes even get back to classes. But at the same time, I don't want to leave home again. I get so confused with my emotions because I want to be at school but I also have the small thought of "drop out of school and never leave home again" every single time I'm home for a break. Come on brain, make up your mind!
Although going to college away from home can be hard, it is also one of the greatest experiences you can have. Being able to grow on your own and have the freedom to do so without the comfort of what's familiar is scary but exciting! I am so thankful that I chose to go to college away from my familiar and that now I have a second place to call home.