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The Struggles of Being an Out-of-State College Student

The Struggles of Being an out of state College Student
While everyone loves a new experience, leaving your home state for college can be 
difficult! Especially coming back to school after a relaxing Winter Break filled with 
home cooked meals, family, friends, and did I mention home cooked meals? I am from 
Maryland, and while I love Clemson, there are definitely things I miss about home. I 
know every out of state student can speak to this. Here are some examples of the 
struggles out-of-staters experience:
1. Home state pride
At home, everyone flies their Maryland flags. It hangs in windows, front lawns, 
socks, shirts, and it’s on stickers on the back of cars. If I’m walking around 
campus and I see someone wearing Maryland gear, it’s like this mini freak out 
attack, I want to hug them and yell “ME TOO” but because that would be totally 
creepy, so I don’t. Nobody understands the importance of home state pride until 
they’re no longer in their home state!
2. Native Cuisine
Whether it’s those New Jersey Bagels and Pizza, Ohio Buckeye Balls, 
Massachusetts Chowder, Georgia Peaches, or Maryland steamed crabs, everyone 
has their native cuisine that they miss when they go to school. Winter Break 
becomes a contest- let’s see how much of my home foods I can stuff my face with 
and still make it back to school wearing the same size jeans! After all, gotta load 
up on enough to last a couple months!
3. Family 
Most people that travel far away for college are ready to “leave everything 
behind” and look for a change, but almost all of them realize quickly they will 
actually miss what they left behind. The prime example of this is our family. I 
looked back at my call log, and realized the week I came back from Winter Break 
I talked to my parents at least once every day. I think sometimes we forget how 
much we need them, whether your mom is your best friend, you’re a Daddy’s 
Girl, or you have siblings that you banter with endlessly. The Clemson family is 
one of my favorite things about school, but nothing beats the family I have at 
4. Tuition
Just saying the word tuition makes me cringe. The first time I looked at my bill I 
had to look again, and I wondered, “Did they throw in a couple extra zeroes?” Out 
of state tuition is no easy price, but here in God’s country we get our moneys 
worth of our education.
5. Pets
I cannot stress enough how blessed my in-state friends are to be able to see their 
pets on the weekend. Whether your pet is slimy, scaly, furry, or some other odd 
texture, nobody can love the way they can. If I didn’t think that I would get 
caught, my dog would live in my dorm with me, no doubt about it.
6. Getting a Ride Home
While many people have their parents come pick them up, or drive their own car 
home, many out-of-staters do not have that luxury. There is no way my parents 
are driving 10 hours to come pick me up, and then 10 hours home. I drive a little 
2007 Hyundai Accent, and it wouldn’t survive the long drive on I-85. This leaves 
me to empty my wallet for a plane ticket and fight to the death on Ride Post to get 
into a shuttle to the airport, or offer a stranger some cookies and gas money to 
take me along with them towards home. Nobody will understand the stress of not 
being sure how you’re getting home until a couple days before break quite like us 
No matter if you’re from close or far, we all miss home sometimes. 
Whether you’re missing your food, your dog, or your mom, the Clemson family will help 
make up for it. It doesn’t matter if you’ve just transferred to Clemson or have been here for awhile, 
this campus is full of friendly faces and it’s never too late to try something new!
I am a Psychology major. I was Maryland born and raised. I love soccer, the beach, and making Her Campus part of my Clemson story!
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