What Going To College Far From Home Taught Me
Start writing a post

At this point last year, I was very tense. I was unsure about so many things: if I was going to be able to live off cafeteria food for an entire year, if I was even going to receive scholarships to afford college, and most importantly where I was going to attend. When I made up my mind, I realized that I had chosen one of the farthest universities to which I applied. The transition that followed would be challenging, but luckily I learned some things along the way. My college experience would not have been the same if I didn't attend a school far from home.

When I first arrived, I didn't really know anyone. There were a few people that came from the same area as me, but I didn't really know them. I was forced to make friends, something that didn't worry me until the time came to actually be social. At home, I had good friends that I basically grew up with, so this was almost entirely new to me. I was lucky enough to find friends in people that I met around my building, through a class, in clubs, or simply by being at the right place at the right time. I realized that making friends isn't something that you set out to do, it just happens by (as cliche as it sounds) being yourself, and by doing things that interest you.

The first time I did laundry, I realized that it was finally possible for me to be clean. I had a messy room at home to be completely honest, but now that could be changed. There was only one room that belonged to me, so it was my sole responsibility to keep it clean, and I couldn't escape it. I also started to feel the pain of my family members, as my roommates weren't always the neatest. Like, how did this single dirty sock of yours end up under my desk? I need answers.

Food is a rare and valuable commodity. Beyond the chips and similar snacks, the only food you can get is at a dining hall. You don't realize it until you go home for the first time, but the food tastes so much better when the cook is related to you. I knew my dad and my grandmother were excellent cooks, but there's a whole new level of appreciation when you haven't been able to have their home-cooked meals for months.

You're going to have to deal with things yourself. At first, this is awful. You might have to tell your professor you'll miss a class because you're sick, and although most professors are understanding, there is a fear-jolting stigma that they are always out to see you suffer. Your parents won't be there to call in an excuse for you, and you have to just gather the courage to do it for yourself. Maybe you have some sort of work that you need to gather supplies for, and this time you have to figure out how to take a bus to your destination. Growing up in a small town where there was almost no public transportation, the first time I took a train home was terrifying. I have learned to hold myself responsible for learning how to do things like this, and I believe that I have become more mature because of it.

Although living away from home hasn't been easy for this first year, I'm glad that I did it. I have been self-sufficient for a while now, and the lessons that I learned were worth the struggles they posed. My advice to a student making this decision now would be to trust that you can learn these things, too. Life is about learning, and sometimes we have to jump into the deep end to learn how to swim.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers

35997

Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

81627
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

352141
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

220377
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

112758
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

300654

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.

183335

Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

124004
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments