A lot of students have one of two dreams once they graduate high school; stay as close to home as they can or move as far away as possible. Personally, I chose to move from Wisconsin to Florida to attend Florida Gulf Coast University. I chose this because I thought Florida would be amazing, plus, I received an extremely generous scholarship to help me pay for school. Once I moved, even before I moved, I realized how deep my roots actually were in Wisconsin and how moving may not be such a great idea.
Vacationing as a family was always a blast, especially when we'd visit Florida. When I moved to Florida to begin my college journey, I realized how much I would miss Wisconsin. Three years later, and I still miss my home state just as much as I did the day I boarded that plane and took off south.
Moving away to go to school is never easy, but it truly is an amazing experience. When you take yourself out of your comfort zone at home, you realize who you really are. You grow and find things out about yourself that you never knew. You find out what type of whether you actually like. You realize how different people are in the south than in the north, both good and bad.
There's also that feeling of missing out. That life is still moving forward without you, and that whenever you visit your home you feel like so much has changed but yet nothing has changed at all. Friends grow up, some fade, some become closer. You start to miss those restaurants that only your hometown has. You also realize that every time you come back home, part of you misses your college town, but you know that part of your heart and soul will always be in the city you grew up in.
Sometimes, it's the exact opposite. You may realize how you've outgrown your hometown and you're destined to travel and go to towns you know nothing about. You may never want to step foot in your home state ever again, but you cannot deny the fact that the state has shaped you and molded you into the person you are. But, you are continuously growing and learning and maturing, no matter what city your feet may be planted in at the moment.
I'm writing this because I'm here to tell you that it's OK to feel lost and confused in college, especially when you relocate.
It's OK to feel upset and sad and like nobody understands. I realized soon on that Wisconsin is the place I need to be, and once I graduate I plan on doing everything in my power to move home, and that's OK.
It's OK that where I am attending college is not the place I want to live after.
It's OK to admit that you aren't yourself when you're at college because it is not where you grew up and it is not where you can be yourself. Find a person that reminds you of home, and do not let them go. That person can make all of the difference, whether it be a friend, relative, significant other, finding that person makes a world of a difference.
Leaving your heart in another state is a sign of strength, you moved to fulfill your educational dreams and to get a step forward on your career. You have goals. It may take time, it will take a lot of time, but everything will work out in the end.
It will be OK.
You got this.