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.
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
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!
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.