Going to College 1000 Miles Away From Home

Moving up from right near the border of North and South Carolina all the way to Boston was an enormous change for me. For starters, I had never lived in a city before, so going from a small town to skyscrapers was daunting. Also, coming from the South, and especially from a very conservative-minded area, it felt like there were so many doors open for me to explore that had never previously been unlocked. But with the good change also came the not-so-good. I knew absolutely no one in Boston, and my parents, friends, and relatives all stayed home while I left for a big city. I was the only one I knew from my school to move out and go further than a single state away.

I don’t usually get homesick, but the first week, I cried. I didn’t know if I was going to make any friends, I didn’t know if my parents would be ok without me (I was an only child, and very close to them), I was suddenly unsure as to whether the college I had chosen was right for me, and I had no idea what my roommate would be like.

Luckily, I learned about the last one pretty quickly. As I was crying, she came into the room and saw me. She gave me a huge hug and told me everything was alright, and that I wasn’t alone in how I felt. After that, things started to look much better.

I engaged in my college’s orientation programs, all of the meet-and-greet events, and I made sure to put myself out there, talking to people and joining new groups. The friends I made by stepping out of my comfort zone have stuck with me to this day, and they are some of the most loyal and supportive people I have ever met. I joined a few clubs and have the freedom to pursue hobbies that interest me, as well as the space to find out what I want to do with my life and where I want my college experience to take me.

I’ve only been at college for a few months now, but so far it has been the best experience of my life. The fact that I’m living in a city like Boston is definitely a major part of why my life at college has been so great. I have the ability to go exploring a new part of it every weekend with friends; I can step outside and a few feet away lies the subway, able to take me to any section of the city I desire.

I obviously still miss my friends and family, but with all the technology available right at my fingertips, the faces of my parents are just a video call away. My best friends from back home text me all the time, and even though we’re all insanely busy, especially with our very first college midterms creeping up on us, we’re still able to find time to carve out so that we can talk and tell each other the crazy stories that we have stored up from the week.

College is hard work, there’s no doubt about it. The stress can be overwhelming at some points. Being away from home, with the inability to just swing by over the weekend and pop in for a quick chat, only adds to the stress. But the freedom and ability that college gives us to express ourselves both inside classes and outside in the real world are incredible, and being involved in things that we care deeply about can seriously help to lift the weight of all that anxiety. College is what you make of it, and there are always people and groups to help support you if you’re ever struggling. You just need to make sure that you put yourself out there and get involved so that when you need that support, they know how best to help!