As being an out of state student, moving away from home was a major change in my life. While it can be exciting and refreshing to experience something new, the whole concept changes when holidays and birthdays come up. As other people are driving home just a few hours away, you live a whole plane ride or ocean away from where you grew up. While these days can feel very lonely, you have to learn what a home is beyond the house, area, and people you grew up around. People begin to move away, buildings are redone, and everything changes just as you are.
The first thing that comes to mind when I think of home is the community of people. Then I remember the amount of times I moved as a child and the many different neighbors I’ve had. I will be constantly meeting new people and starting over until I make a home for myself. For the most part the friends I had growing up moved away after graduating high school just as I did. This provides a sense of reassurance that I am not the only one going through the transition of moving away from home. Since relationships and community plays a big role in creating a home, it’s important to form new ones wherever you go next. This includes making new friends, getting familiar with the area, and finding ways to be involved with the school community. This can mean playing a sport, joining a club, or getting a job on campus. Eventually everything will begin to feel familiar and as if you have built a new home all on your own.
Although growing up you are used to constantly being around people, such as friends and family, when you first move you may not have anyone. It’s important to feel secure alone and prioritize finding your roles in the community before making solid relationships. There are two ways to go about finding your place in a new community. First is to form friendships and meet more people from those friends, after that focus on job opportunities and other ways to contribute to the community from networking. Another way is to work alone and make relationships and friendships after you have already found your place. Both ways have their pros and cons.Working with others can tend to be easier while starting alone provides reassurance that you don’t need to rely on anyone. Either way it’s important to be stable on your own in order to be comfortable with making new friends and being confident enough in yourself to eventually form a spot in the community.
Starting over is easier said than done, especially when it seems as simple as fitting in. In reality, it can be extremely challenging to start over, especially around people who already know each other. Beyond this, growing up in different states can also make it difficult to get along with people because everyone is raised their own way with separate values and morals. With this being said, finding people with the same interests as you through being in the same classes, clubs, or jobs is vital to feeling a sense of belonging.
A home is somewhere where you feel safe, included, and you have a passion for contributing to make it even better. A home is far beyond just the area you grew up in, the same house you are used to being in, or the people you saw everyday as a kid. Furthermore, check in on those you love and reassure them that they always have a place to go for the holidays. Starting over is a thrill, but it is a long process and some peoples homes are still a work in progress so be that home for someone when you can.