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I Moved To A Place I’ve Never Been To Before, Here’s What Happened:

Picture this: you’re looking to buy a home and you’ve begun searching online. You’re visiting every real estate website possible trying to find the perfect one. All of a sudden you stumble upon a home in a gorgeous neighborhood that’s safe, accepting, clean, and most importantly, within your price range. Immediately, you’re drawn in. As you research further, you find more and more aspects of this home that fits all your needs and desires. There are nice parks and good restaurants nearby. Your favorite grocery store is within walking distance and emergency services are just around the corner. You can’t believe this isn’t too good to be true. You’re so in love with this house, you buy it. A couple of months later, you pack up all your things and finalize everything before moving into the new house. You’re beyond excited to move into your dream home and into your dream neighborhood.

However, there’s only one problem: you’ve never visited the house in person. In fact, you’ve never been to the city, state, or region of the country your new house is in. This happened to me.

Prior to attending Agnes Scott College, I’ve only seen it in pictures. In fact, I’ve never even stepped foot onto the East Coast before. The first time I visited Agnes’ campus was the day before move-in day. Nobody I talked to has ever heard of Agnes Scott. I found out about Agnes Scott through Reddit, yes you read that right, Reddit. I was having a moderator of a college subreddit read over my college application essays when they said, “Have you heard of Agnes Scott? It’s a women’s college in Atlanta. I was blown away by my tour there”. This occurred in January 2021, when I was finished with my applications. Despite that, I looked into Agnes Scott and applied. I had my interview a couple of weeks later and after that, I was accepted.

When I told my high school teachers and classmates I was moving to Georgia, I was constantly warned about the huge adjustment and change I was about to experience. Coming from a small city in Northern California, moving to Georiga was going to be a colossal change. The people, the weather, the food, the overall environment would all be different than what I was used to. Although people kept warning me about the leap I was going to take, I wasn’t all that worried. I was ready for a change. After spending over 17 years in the same state, same city, and the same house; I longed for something new.

I decided that I wanted to do some sightseeing in Atlanta before starting the school year so I came to Atlanta a couple of days before move-in day. During my first few days in Georgia, it rained and every time I would step outside, I would expect it to be freezing cold like my hometown in California. However, I would be pleasantly surprised by the warm rain. Another thing I was surprised at was the shockingly low gas prices. I would be driving past tons of gas stations and couldn’t help but notice prices that read, “3.1, 3.3, or 3.5” per gallon. Most Atlanta natives would not think this is low but compared to my hometown’s, 4.5, 4.7, and 4.8 per gallon, this is astronomically low. Something I still find strange is how stores give you bags when you checkout. Where I’m from, if you want a single-use plastic bag, it would cost you at least 10 cents. In Georgia, it’s free. When I first went grocery shopping in Georgia, I was very surprised to see the cashier immediately bagging up my groceries. To this day, I still get taken aback when my purchases are instantly but in a bag and handed off to me.

When I arrived here, I was curious to see if there were any other freshmen from the West Coast. Most students are from the surrounding areas with some people from a bit farther in Florida, Tennesee, Texas, and North Carolina. However, there aren’t many students any more than 800 miles away. When Winter Break rolled around, all my peers talk about how they can have their parents pick them up when they’re done with finals, but I’m stuck here until the actual school year ends. I remember when I was scheduling my flight home, I didn’t know when I’d be done with finals so I scheduled it on the latest possible date. As it came closer to finals, I realized I’d be done a week prior to leaving. I was left twiddling my thumbs for a week while all of my classmates were able to get picked up by their parents who live in-state.

For the most part, I’ve adjusted to life in Georgia pretty well. There have even been times when I forgot I lived in Georgia and though I still lived in California.

While finishing up my first semester at Agnes Scott, sometimes I think about how I’ve known about this college’s existence for less than a year and how I found it through good ol’ Reddit.

Marlena Ngim

Agnes Scott '25

Marlena is a first-year at Agnes Scott who is majoring in Public Health with a possible minor in Dance. She is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area in California. In her free time, she enjoys riding horses, surfing Reddit, and writing songs. After meeting her, you never find a bigger K-pop stan or coffee lover.
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