When I chose to attend the University of Florida, over 800 miles from my home in New Jersey, I was nothing short of excited and eager to start my new journey and embark on a new future for myself. However, now going into my third year of college, I can't help but realize how long it has taken me to finally see my school and my apartment as my new home. They tell you moving away is going to be hard, and you'll miss your friends and family. And yeah, they were right. But you also learn so much more being so far from your parents. You finally start to live your own life! Here are 5 things that no one ever tells you about living 800+ miles from your home:
1. Weekend Trips Back Home Do Not Exist
Photo By Dana LeBron
This is, of course, sad, but true. I tried everything in my power to schedule my classes accordingly so I was able to go home some weekends, but it honestly never worked out. Going to a school where so much of the student population lives in Florida, you find that many will choose to go home on weekends. You do not have that choice. Trust me, I've tried everything—even only having classes on Tuesday and Thursdays—but still, nothing works. And although this stinks, you treasure going home so much more and appreciate all the time you have to spend with your friends and family. But if your friends invite you to go back home with them, go!! It's good to get away from campus every once in a while.
2. You Have To Pack Everything Into A Suitcase If You're Traveling Home
Photo By Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on Pexels
Again, this is obvious, but you do not understand the struggle of going home with only a suitcase when you're staying for more than three weeks for winter break. Most students at UF have a car and therefore can pack however much they desire in their car without having to shove it all into one suitcase. Carrying liquids over four ounces? I don't know her, but people who can drive home for holidays definitely do. My biggest tip is to just ship things and save yourself all the stress.
3. Your Holiday Breaks Will Never Align With Your Friend's Break
Photo By Dana LeBron
The struggle of going to school so far from your best friends? Your breaks never line up together. While most people love that UF starts early and ends early, it stinks because I am always left alone for two or three whole weeks waiting for them to come home. You'll find that seeing each other all together is rare, but when you did get to be with your whole squad, you cherish it so much more.
4. You Have No Idea What To Do With All Your Stuff At The End Of The Year
Photo By Public Storage
One word — STORAGE! Until I moved out of my dorm, I did not realize how many things I have accumulated over time. After just one year of school, you have so much stuff! Different from your fellow Floridian friends, you have to put everything into storage and don't have the ability to bring anything home. But the good news is, once you move into your apartment, you don't have to worry about purchasing storage units anymore!
5. You Can Never Bring Your Holiday Gifts Back To School
Photo By VIPparcel
You wake up on Christmas morning to a pile full of amazing gifts... but guess what? You can't bring any of it back to school! Parents can always ship you a package filled with gifts, but it's just not the same. You find that people will turn to give you cash as opposed to buying you an actual gift, which is still fine. However, remember to spend it on resourceful and responsible things (as they intended) and not the newest trending item. I'm not going to tell you how to spend your money, but using the money for toilet paper and groceries is so much smarter.