My First Semester Experience As An Out-Of-State College Student

    During my Junior year of high school, I began doing extensive research on what college really was; the pro’s, cons, the good, bad, and the ugly. I looked up what the different types of schools were and the benefits of attending each one. My ultimate goal was to commit to a school that I could see myself attending for my entire college matriculation. This process was very eye-opening and resulted in me developing college fever. As a result, I had curated an ideal list of things I was looking for which included, but were not limited to; prestige, good reputation, safe location, medium size enrollment, sociable atmosphere, exclusive opportunities, and diversity. Most of the schools I considered were not located in New York which is where I am from. At the time, missing home did not concern me. I didn’t think I would experience homesickness at all considering I wanted to go away.

    However, I was wrong. I ended up committing to Clark Atlanta University on May 1st of 2018. It was definitely the best decision I’ve ever made. Within the very first month of college (August), I came to the realization that I was truly alone. I found myself doing things that my mother always did for me..things I took for granted. This made me a victim of homesickness. My life was so simple in high school compared to college. Another downside was having to manage my money. As a freshman, I had the privilege of living in a suite-style dorm. While I was very grateful for this room placement, it came with more maintenance than the traditional dorms (in my opinion). 

    Every other week, I found myself going to Walmart to buy cleaning supplies, toiletries, snacks, water, or more storage for my room. It was exhausting and annoying, to say the least. Then, I had to balance my school work, social life, sleep, and most importantly, my mental health. For the entire first month of school, I had a cold. That was the longest cold I’ve ever had and the first time I had to actually take care of myself. Ironically, I was living my best life while trying to adjust to fully being on my own.

    As the weeks went by, college got easier. I vividly remember talking to God about what I was going through - good and bad. I prioritized my mental health, stayed organized, did my work the day I received it, and remained positive throughout it all. Don’t get me wrong as there were definitely some days where it felt like I didn’t have a purpose at CAU or I just didn’t want to get out of bed. However, the more I pushed myself and went out of my comfort zone, the more I enjoyed the college experience. From this experience, I learned that college is truly what you make of it and it's up to you to take advantage of all the opportunities and resources your school offers. Homesickness will only last as long as you allow it to!