A few years ago I decided to move out of my hometown to attend an out-of-state college. If you are thinking of moving for college I have 6 tips that might be of some help.
My junior year in highschool I decided with my best friend at the time that we wanted to go to college in Colorado. I applied and got into a beautiful school in a beautiful city in Colorado.
Come senior year in highschool my best friend was no longer my best friend and I realized only I was going to Colorado.
The excitement waned a little and a little anxiety kicked in as I am a pretty introverted person. But I decided I was doing it because I had always wanted to move away and get that feel of independence.
Moving away is sometimes thought to be this make-over change to life. Like suddenly in a different place you will be who you want to be or meant to be right off the bat.
Well, to my surprise I didn’t stop being introverted. I didn’t become more social. I was the same me in college.
My closest friend was my roommate who I loved and became good friends with. The only problem was she worked in her old town and was gone most days.
I started to feel very alone. Fast forward two months later and I was back in my hometown in my comfort zone. Boom, roasted.
Getting past the failing feels, I can now analyze that part of my life and I think there are a few things I could have tried to fix my situation. If you are in the same boat or thinking of moving for college, here are 6 tips that might help you out that I know would have helped me.
1. Try to get a job. It’s important to have something other than college assignments to pass the time with. This will also help with meeting more people and you will make money.
2. Try volunteering. You usually don’t need to be qualified to volunteer and again this will allow you to make more connections and keep you busy. Also, with volunteering you can choose something that interests you- making it more enjoyable.
3. Try joining a club or group on campus or in the area. This will push you to interact with others and make friends. You might even be able to reach out to these individuals for help on assignments which could be a plus.
4. Try to be single when you move. Long distance relationships won’t help your situation. Unless they are able to visit all the time. Having a boyfriend in a different state, will make you miss your hometown. It’s like going on a trip and forgetting something you really needed, like a stuffed animal for a kid. Your stuffed animal will be states away. No bueno.
5. Try to have transportation. The day before I was going to drive to Colorado I got in a car accident and was unable to take my car. That left me car-less when my roommate wasn’t there and I found myself walking everywhere. It was fun until I had to carry groceries back to my dorm (try 7 bags) or when it was nighttime. Being able to get to places fast means a lot when you are away from home.
6. Try not to make any impulsive decisions. Don’t give up. Give yourself a time frame of how long you will fight it out. The day I made my decision to move back home, I was in a messed up state. I had the blues and was also feeling sick. My dad had just driven my car to Colorado, and as soon as he suggested I come back home (because he saw I was not doing so good) I jumped on it.
The problem is you might not know many people at first. You might not be used to being on your own without your family and friends (maybe even a car).
You might have unrealistic expectations as I did (or maybe I’m just a crazy person) about who you will be in college. You just need time and to believe in yourself. In the moment when you are going through something hard you think it’s the end all be all of your life. It’s not.
If you feel alone in a new place, hang in there. It’s hard. But before you decide to throw in the towel, reflect on what is making it hard.
Is there anything you could do that might make it feel better? Are there certain situations or life events that are maybe not helping in that department but are temporary (*cough* COVID *cough*)? Is quitting now something you might regret?
Just know that you are awesome! You are awesome today and no matter what you decide, well guess what? You will be awesome then too. And the next day and the next day.
Remember, always do what is best for you. Only you know what that is.