5 Tips To All The Students Leaving Home

5 Tips To All The Students Leaving Home

What helps your new home to be more...home-ish.

Change can be difficult; I understand that more than anyone. Many people are used to seeing the same roads each morning, the same people in school (not counting your friends!), and the same constant weather. Nobody likes the idea of leaving what is comfortable.

During my senior year, I was going to follow the pattern of many of my peers. I was going to go to California State-Los Angeles and stay within my community.

I broke that cycle.

I left the comfort of Los Angeles, California and traveled across the country to Lynchburg, Virginia. Yeah, a long way from home. Fortunately, here are a couple of things that helped my adjustment to this new world. Here are five things that I feel are majority important to get accustomed of your new independence.

  • Cry

Yeah, I know it sounds pathetic, but it does help. When you’re traveling across the country, alone, and suddenly arrive at your dorm room—reality hits you like a freight train. I traveled from L.A. to Lynchburg by myself and it was only here, hours later, that I realized “this is it.” I cried my eyes out. I’d missed home. So much, in fact, that I was ready to all it quits—and the school hadn’t even started yet!

But after a couple of hours crying (no lie) I felt better and exhausted. Point being doesn't be afraid to shed some tears, after all, you’re a long way from home.

Another advice: Don’t call anyone from home the first few days. Wait, what do you mean don’t call your mom to let her know you arrived in one piece? No, I’m not saying that I’m saying don’t call your mom because once you hear her voice, you’re going to get a one-way ticket back!

Send her a text message instead, that will make the transition a bit be easier if you don’t hear her (or your dad’s) voice for a few days. Once you feel alright, call them to check up

  • IHeartRadio

If you’re like me (a huge radio fan) you know you’ll dread losing your favorite radio station. I know I was until my friend reminded me about the app called IHeartRadio. This app is super useful to me; it brings some L.A. into my dorm room. With this APP I can listen to live radio stations from back home and the comfort knowing that my family and friends are also listening to the same song, brings some joy that I’m not so far away after all.

  • Be social

For an introvert, this is a nightmare but it’s necessary. Talking to your peers, counselors and upper-class men do help your transition from high school to college but also from one state to another. Talk to peers who are from that area, question them about the recreational things around, the restaurants and the weather. Try to find someone who came from the same state as you, having someone to chat about home is a great way to be social and accepting that you’re not home anymore.

Also talk to them about your home state, of how different or similar it is from the state your college is in. It’s a creative way to break the ice and plus many will be surprised at where you came from!

  • Decorate

I know this is obvious, but I’ll state it anyways. Decorate your dorm like how your room was back home. Place those posters around (with permission of your roommate first), plug in that stereo or set that Xbox One on your T.V. If you want, before you come out into a different state, get some postcards from home. Having the view of legendary landmarks of your home will help you not feel so alone.

  • Overall give it a try

I know the first couple of days you’ll feel out of place but give the school a chance. Wait until class starts, feel that atmosphere of your professors, of the class course itself. Explore your campus and the surrounding area, if there’s an event happening, go to it. Learn what this new place can offer you. And have the courage to continue forward. Remember, as a last resort, if you don’t feel this is for you, you can always go back home.

Good luck!

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Why Getting Away From Where You Grew Up Is Important

College is the perfect time to get away from home and go out into the real world.

As you get older, life sometimes makes it hard for you to take control and go to the places you've only dreamed of. There's always a work meeting, ballet recital, or something to hold you back from taking that trip planned four summers ago. College is the perfect time to get away from home and go out into the real world.

It's important to get away from everything you know at one point in your life. There is a whole world full of risk, chance, and experience. The security you have in your hometown can be traded in for adventure and change. There's a time to try something new, learn something that blows your mind, or go somewhere that takes your breath away. That time is now, to feel like you are actually doing something worthwhile with your life.

It is important to get away from where you have grown up for some of your life. You need to grow on your own, without anyone there to tell you you're wrong or out of line being a certain way. The transition from high school to college is the gift of independence. You choose who you get to be without anyone holding your past against you. It's a do-over, a second chance after the mistakes and regrets you lived through in high school. Yet, being away from home has its drawbacks as you lose familiar faces, a steady schedule, and many creature comforts. But, all of these can be found in a new place with time. Leaving the place you grew up gives you another chance to grow again, without boundaries. Travel whenever you get an opportunity because it may not come again. Test your limits while living your actual dreams. Go out and explore the world—you're only here once and don't have time to take it for granted. Leaving everything you know sounds scary, but there are great memories to be made out there.

Whether this new place for you is two hours from home, or 20, it's different, it's exciting and it's change. It is important to get away from where you grew up and learn from the adventures you embark on. It is the best way to find yourself and who you want to be. It's what you'll remember when you look back on everything you've done.

Cover Image Credit: Madison Burns

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For Camille, With Love

To my godmother, my second mom, my rooted confidence, my support


First grade, March. It was my first birthday without my mom. You through a huge party for me, a sleepover with friends from school. It included dress up games and making pizza and Disney trivia. You, along with help from my grandma, threw me the best birthday party a 7-year-old could possibly want.

During elementary school, I carpooled with you and a few of the neighborhood kids. I was always the last one to be dropped off, sometimes you would sneak a donut for me. Living next door to you was a blessing. You helped me with everything. In second grade, you helped me rehearse lines for history day so I could get extra credit. In 4th grade, you helped me build my California mission.

You and your sister came out to my 6th grade "graduation". You bought me balloons and made me feel as if moving onto middle school was the coolest thing in the entire world.

While you moved away from next door, you were a constant in my life. Going to Ruby's Diner for my birthday, seeing movies at the Irvine Spectrum and just hanging out, I saw you all the time. During these times, you told me about all of the silly things you did with my mom and dad, how my mom was your best friend. I couldn't have had a greater godmother.

In middle school, you pushed me to do my best and to enroll in honors. You helped me through puberty and the awkward stages of being a woman.

Every single time I saw you, it would light up my entire day, my week. You were more than my godmother, you were my second mom. You understood things that my grandma didn't.

When you married John, you included me in your wedding. I still have that picture of you, Jessica, Aaron and myself on my wall at college. I was so happy for you.

Freshmen year of high school, you told me to do my best. I did my best because of you. When my grandma passed away that year, your shoulder was the one I wanted to cry on.

You were there when I needed to escape home. You understood me when I thought no one would. You helped me learn to drive, letting me drive all the way from San Clemente to Orange.

When I was applying to colleges, you encouraged me to spread my wings and fly. You told me I should explore, get out of California. I wanted to study in London, you told me to do it. That's why, when I study abroad this Spring in London, I will do it for you.

When I had gotten into UWT, you told me to go there. I did and here I am, succeeding and living my best in Tacoma. I do it for you, because of you.

When I graduated high school and I was able to deliver a speech during our baccalaureate, you cheered me on. You recorded it for me, so I could show people who weren't able to make it to the ceremony. You were one of the few people able to come to my actual graduation. You helped me celebrate the accomplishments and awards from my hard work.

When your cancer came back, I was so worried. I was afraid for you, I was afraid of what I would do without the support you had always given me. When I was in Rome, I went to the Vatican and had gotten a Cross with a purple gem in the middle blessed by the Pope to help you with your treatments. It was something from me and a little bit of my mom in the necklace, the gem.

Now, sitting so far from you away at college just like you wanted me to. I miss you. I wish I was there to say goodbye.

I'll travel the world for you, write lots of stories and books for you, I will live life to the fullest for you.

You are another angel taken too early in life. Please say hello to my parents and grandma in Heaven for me.

Lots of love,


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