Last year, I made the switch from the boring Midwest to the exciting bayou. Yes, college is scary (especially if it takes you an 8-hour road trip to get there). But I chose to go out-of-state for college for a reason, and it's one of the best decisions I've ever made. Hopefully, this post gives you some insight on how to handle being in a strange new environment.
1. Put yourself out there
I already know what you're thinking: this one is cheesy. Yes, telling you to get involved on campus and reach out to make new friends is very overplayed at this point — you've heard it from parents, school counselors, YouTubers. BUT, it is completely necessary. Getting involved in an activity or club at school makes campus feel not so vast. Whether it's student government, a Greek organization or the Quidditch team, having that built-in support group is key. At first, I was very against joining a sorority... but after taking the leap and joining one last year, I wouldn't change a thing. BONUS: No matter what you choose to do, there's almost always free food!!!
2. Lay off the netflix
Whenever you get into a homesick slump (trust me, it WILL happen), your instinct might be to curl up in your dorm room and binge "Stranger Things." PRO TIP: DON'T DO THIS. Sure, everyone needs a little study break with some Netflix once in a while, but if you resort to hiding in bed all the time, college will pass you by. If you're feeling down, there's plenty of things to do on campus — duh, you're paying for it, after all. Go for a walk around campus, take a workout class at the gym, ask your roommate to go to the mall, sit in your friends' dorm and watch them play Fortnite, whatever you have to do to get your mind off of things.
3. Call your mom
You're bound to miss your family when you're that far away from them. For me, it was the hardest with my two little brothers. It's a strange thing to go from sleeping down the hall from your parents to being on the other side of the country from them. The best thing to do is to make sure you take time to update them on your life. Even a 20-minute phone call every Sunday reassures them (and you) that everything is OK. As much as you miss them, they miss you more. Bonus points if your mom puts the family dog on FaceTime.
4. Explore your new home
This one is my favorite: get out and see your new home!!! You aren't in Kansas anymore, Toto (almost literally). You chose your college for a reason, and one of them is most likely the location. This means that you have free reign to explore this new environment you're in and make the most of your college experience. For me, that meant going to New Orleans on the weekends and admiring the street art, live music, and delicious food (I even experienced Mardi Gras for the first time). My biggest piece of advice is to get all you can out of your new place and make all your mom's friends on Facebook jealous!!!