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I grew up in a suburb of Seattle, tucked away in evergreen trees. I spent my childhood swimming in the nearby lakes, skiing and hiking on Washington’s mountains, and participating in the city’s huge coffee culture. I decided to go across the country for college, all the way to Connecticut, and ended up in a town quite different from what I was used to back home. 

Moving away for college is hard, especially at a school like Conn where many students are only a few hours from home. Here are my tips for making the transition a little smoother!  

Make friends from near AND far

In my first year of college, I made sure to get to know people from both the East Coast and the West Coast. My East Coast friends taught me so much about New England, like certain slang terms and geography (though everyone is from a town “20 minutes outside of Boston”), and I got to teach them about the Pacific Northwest. I got lucky and have several friends from California, which is nice because they can relate to my upbringing, and we can say things like “why do people use the word ‘wicked’ so often?” without worrying about sounding silly. 

Try new things, big and small 

One of the great parts of being in a completely different place is trying out the location-specific things! Washington State doesn’t have any Dunkin’ Donuts, so that was new to me when I came to college. I also have never been in such close proximity to Boston or New York, and so I’ve been sure to take advantage of Amtrak to visit the cities. 

Print pictures that showcase your home state

Right above my bed, I have a poster of Mount Rainier and my best nature photos of Washington state, so I always have a visual reminder of home. If you don’t want to commit to a whole photo collage, changing your phone lock screen to a meaningful photo of home is also a great visual reminder! 

Use the Weather app 

While it sounds a little odd, I like to enter all of my home friends’ locations into my weather app. It makes me feel connected to them every time I check the app, plus it’s an easy text conversation starter if you haven’t caught up with a friend in a while. 

While moving far away from home can be scary at first, hopefully these tips make the transition into living in a new place a little easier!

Kendall Foley

Conn Coll '24

Kendall Foley is a sophomore at Connecticut College majoring in Philosophy and pursuing a Pathway in Data, Information, and Society. At Conn, Kendall plays for the women's water polo team and is an intern in the Office of Student Accessibility Services. In her free time, you can find Kendall open-water swimming, baking, or spending time with her family.
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