Things To Do When You Leave Home For The First Time

9 Things You Should Do During Your First Summer Away From Home

It's a scary time in a young adult's life, but it's such a great opportunity to grow!


This summer, I will be going from my tiny village in rural Ohio with a population of 600 to Columbus, OH, with a population of 850,000. It's going to be my first summer away from home for something that's not a camp, and that's incredibly scary. To soothe my soul, and anyone else who is in this position, I created a list of things that anyone living away from home for their first summer should definitely do.

Take these as a set of goals or a guideline to make the best of this scary but exhilarating summer!

1. Try a new food.

Bobbie Hall

Traveling is always a great opportunity for new food choices. Who knows, you might discover your future favorite food!

2. Meet at least 100 new people.

Mike Dewine on Facebook

An entire summer is a long time. You should definitely have the chance to meet 100 people, if not more! You don't need to know their whole life story, just enough that you can see them around and say hi or catch up!

3. Find a new close friend. 

Though loose connections are valuable and fun, we all need people we can confide in. Finding one more person in your close network will probably be hard, but it won't be the hardest thing you'll do your first summer away from home.

4. Find a way to make some cash. 

I guarantee your parents don't want to be fully funding your spending in a new city. You're going to want to go out and spend money all the time. Your parents aren't a bank, you know.

5. Explore as much as possible.

Bobbie Hall

New places have new opportunities behind every door! Don't be afraid to explore businesses or nature or anything else in your summer home.

6. Meet up with some old friends you don't get to see often.

Bobbie Hall

Who knows, maybe they can introduce you to something amazing that you'll love doing all summer.

7. Find some time to get outside. 

You might be working or interning crazy hours, but take some time to be outdoors. (It's actually unhealthy to stay inside constantly.) Even "real adults" take some time in the summer to get some sun on their skin.

8. Step out of your comfort zone.

Bobbie Hall

You'll probably have to do this a lot. Don't be afraid of it! Make the most of every moment you have!

9. Call your parents every once in a while.

Bobbie Hall

It's your first summer away, but it's also their first summer without you. They miss you. Make some effort to tell them how you are. They'll appreciate it more than you can understand.

This summer I plan to do all these things and more! Leaving home for the first time is scary but with some guidelines and an open mind, you can make it the best summer ever!

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A Letter To My Freshman Dorm Room As I Pack Up My Things

Somehow a 15' x 12' room became a home.


Dear Geary 411,

With your creaky beds, concrete walls, and mismatched tile floors, you are easily overlooked as just another room we were randomly assigned to— but you were different. Inside your old walls, I have made some of the best memories of my life that I will hold on to forever.

Thank you for welcoming my neighbors in with open arms who quickly became friends who didn't knock and walked in like you were their own.

I feel like an apology is needed.

We're sorry for blaring the music so loud while getting ready and acting like we can actually sing when, in reality, we know we can't. Sorry for the dance parties that got a bit out of control and ended with us standing on the desks. Sorry for the cases of the late-night giggles that came out of nowhere and just would not go away. Sorry for the homesick cries and the "I failed my test" cries and the "I'm dropping out" cries. We're sorry for hating you at first. All we saw was a tiny and insanely hot room, we had no idea what you would bring to us.

Thank you for providing me with memories of my first college friends and college experiences.

As I stand at the door looking at the bare room that I first walked into nine months ago I see so much more than just a room. I see lots and lots of dinners being eaten at the desks filled with stories of our days. I see three girls sitting on the floor laughing at God knows what. I see late night ice cream runs and dance battles. I see long nights of homework and much-needed naps. Most importantly, I look at the bed and see a girl who sat and watched her parents leave in August and was absolutely terrified, and as I lock you up for the last time today, I am so proud of who that terrified girl is now and how much she has grown.

Thank you for being a space where I could grow, where I was tested physically, mentally and emotionally and for being my home for a year.


A girl who is sad to go

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What I Wish I Knew About Life After High School Before I Had To Live It

Life after high school isn't always what you expected it to be.


So you're about to graduate high school and you think you have it all figured out. You and your best friends are going to stay close throughout college and you're going to take those long road trips in college to see each other. Think again.

Life after high school isn't always what you want it to be. You think you'll miss high school, you'll always be close with your high school besties, and you'll have all this free time in college. That's just not entirely true. I personally do not miss high school. I don't really talk to anyone I went to high school with on a regular basis, and I'm totally OK with that. I have friends in college that I believe will be my lifelong friends whereas my friends in high school didn't make an effort to keep in contact with me after high school.

I haven't had all the free time I've dreamed of in college, because I'm busy with school and meetings. When I'm not doing homework, I'm making sure the rest of my life is in order and all my stuff for school is in line. I'm not the crazy party girl that people think I am because of where I go to school. I'd rather sit in bed and watch Netflix than go out with my friends. I'm not a 4.0 student, but I work so hard in my classes just to make sure that I'm passing. I study a week before tests and still don't always make A's. And that's OK. It's not what I expected during my college years, but it's what's happening, and most of my friends are the same way.

Anne Marie Bonadio

Just know that life in college isn't all easy, breezy, and beautiful like Covergirl. It's hard and you will struggle whether it be in school or with your friends. College isn't always complete freedom. You'll be tied down with school and life and you won't have the free time that you always imagined. You won't always be best friends with your high school friends. You won't be taking those road trips because you won't be able to afford them, and if you're like me, your parents won't let you.

College won't be exactly what you dreamed it'll be, but it'll be some of the best years of your life.

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