Attending college out-of-state has many noted benefits and drawbacks. Among the benefits are independence, a fresh start, exploration, and meeting all brand-new people, while drawbacks include not as good food, usually pricier tuition, and the ever-present battle with homesickness (whether we want to admit it or not). It's no doubt that a move away from pretty much everything you've ever known to attend college is courageous. But when you find yourself back at home with your family for the summer at the end of a seemingly gone-too-fast school year, you suddenly start to miss grappling with exams and papers every week. Well, not that part, but you get the point.
Here are some reasons why it can be hard to adjust to spending a summer at home as an OOS college student...
1. You're not as independent at home as you are at school.
When you're away on your campus, you do your own laundry, schedule your own appointments, and maybe even cook your own food. You come home to have your mom or dad take care of all those tasks for you, and you're perfectly comfortable being lazy at home. And it is especially comforting to your wallet to have your parents buy food for you. But even then...
2. ...You still miss campus dining.
While mom's cooking beats dining hall food any day of the week, you can't help but long for fast food options that are local to your college town when you can't enjoy them over the long break. Oh, Cookout, how I miss you and your sweet trays and milkshakes. Soon.
3. There's significantly less structure to your day.
Being on campus allows you to build your weekdays around classes and your weekends around social time and exam preparations/paper writings. You may have had to wake up early for the dreaded 8AM class or had class as late as 4:45PM. Being home as a college student means you can wake up as early or late as you please, but your parents will be nagging you to get up at some point.
4. Random excursions to exotic locations are few and far between.
Being an OOS college student gives you a myriad of opportunities outside of the classroom. One such opportunity is to be able to experience other cities and attractions in your college state. While I'm blessed enough to say that I live and attend school in the stunning beach city of Wilmington, being in North Carolina has enabled me to see the bigger cities of Charlotte and Raleigh, a chance I would never have gotten otherwise. At home, I have NYC an hour away from me by train, but am too busy to get a chance to go consistently.
5. You miss all your college friends.
This is easily the toughest part about being home for the summer as an OOS college student. Most of your friends at school are in-state students, which is especially true if you attend an OOS public university like I do. They can meet up with their other college friends, while you're just chillin' several states away. Distance has seen you lose touch with most people from your hometown, and the few you've decided to keep on board are all busy with various things during their summer, so it feels like there's never enough time to catch up with them before you head back to school in the fall. Not to mention you've got your parents annoyed and possibly even a little offended with your constant countdowns. (No, mom and dad, you are not the reason I want to hightail it outta here right now. I promise.)
Call me crazy, but I'm eager to go back to school. We're in the homestretch of summer break now. Fall semester is only a few weeks away.