So, You're Going to College Out of State - Tips on How to Create a Successful Semester

Going to college is a nerve racking and difficult transition for everyone, but it can be especially tough for out-of-state students. It’s not easy going to a brand new town you don’t know well while also not knowing many people. I will admit, my first semester experience was not a great one, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make it one yourself. Here are some tips to help make your first semester away from home a successful one. 

  1. 1. Call your parents!

    Let’s not be afraid to admit it, we were all looking forward to moving out, but let's also not be afraid to admit that we’re going to get homesick, even if we think we won’t. Call your parents, siblings, or grandparents and call them as often as you want. It doesn’t matter if you call them once every week or once everyday, do what you feel is best for you. Your family knows you best and are your biggest cheerleaders, they want nothing more than for you to succeed and to support you along the way in every way they can. 

  2. 2. Force yourself to get out there.

    Sadly, you are not going to meet new people by staying in your dorm room most of the time, force yourself to socialize with others, even if you find it uncomfortable. I get how uncomfortable it can be, I had a tough freshman year because I rarely socialized with others. By joining new clubs, getting involved in greek life, getting food with new people, or just talking with your classmates I was able to meet others and grow into a more sociable person, and all of these aspects can help you too. By pushing yourself to get out there and connect with others, you have more possibilities to have a great experience at college rather than being alone in your dorm room.

  3. 3. Try something new and different.  

    Going away to college is already pushing you way out of your comfort zone, which also makes it the perfect time to try those things you’ve always been itching to try. It’s time to find that new hobby, find that extraordinary view that you can fall in love with, or find that club that you once had no interest in but now can’t live without. College is also about finding yourself and discovering who you want to be, don’t be afraid to change your style or change something about you that feels right too. You be you, and people will love you for who you are. You never know where new experiences will take you and what you may get out of them, don’t be afraid to try them, now's the time to put yourself out there! 

    1. 4. Set a Routine! 

      Living on your own is more difficult than you think. Some days you may have nothing but time on your hands and others you are scrambling to find time just to finish assignments. Setting a routine for the day will help you avoid this type of chaotic lifestyle while also creating time that you can spend doing other fun and fulfilling opportunities. This can also help you get more to-do things crossed off of your list with the gained time, which helps make your life less stressful and gives you a feeling of more control over what happens. 

    2. 5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! 

      I had a poor rooming situation my freshman year, but because I’m a very independent person, I never asked for help to fix it. I struggled for months until my mom pushed to let her help me, which really helped in the end. Don’t be me, ask for help when you need it the most. There is no reason for you to struggle alone because there are so many people here who would love nothing more than to help you through your tough times. Seek help, it is always there when you need it the most. 

    Transitioning into the college lifestyle is hard, especially in our current unknown future. Don’t forget to take a deep breath and hang in there!