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The Struggle of Going to School on the East Coast as a Californian

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Emerson chapter.

You’re going to college on the East Coast! HOW EXCITING!!! You may have this romanticization of fluffy oversized sweaters, strutting down the city streets, and a great fall Instagram feed in your head, but let me be the first to tell you, Californians are NOT made for the East Coast.

1. You will be cold…all the time

Most people in California complained about the lack of seasons, but honestly, we were spoiled with warm weather 24/7. Trust me, our definition of cold is not the same as native East Coasters, so believe me when I say you will stick out like a sore thumb in your giant parka in the 60 degree weather entering autumn.

2. You WILL get sick

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but no matter how much airborne you chug you will not prevent the inevitable disaster of you becoming sick while away at college. No worries though, just head down to your campuses health center and they’ll fix you right up.

3. You need to learn how to properly J-Walk

Yes, I am encouraging you to break the law, just don’t tell Mom and Dad! Apparently, everyone’s always in a rush over on this side of the country. You will quickly learn that pedestrians around here stop for NO ONE. It’s almost comical how people will look at you like a tacky tourist for waiting for the walk sign, like I’m sorry for obeying the law?

4. You must switch to #TeamShakeShack

I know, I know. You feel like you’re betraying your one true love, In-n-out. Sadly, that’s just the way things have to be for now. You two can reunite in your summers back on the west coast.

5. You need a whole new wardrobe

A whole new wardrobe? That’s no struggle?!? Well, unfortunately it is when the “wardrobe” you’re forking out hundreds of dollars for is giant coats, clunky boots, and endless amounts of thermals. But don’t worry, they have cute options!

6. You’re far from home

You can’t just hop in the car and drive home every time you want a home cooked meal or miss your BFF, which is a total struggle. But hey, you’ll gain a lot of independance this way. And a lot of the time distance creates stronger bonds with your loved ones. Hang in there, Thanksgiving break is on it’s way!


Despite all theses struggles you’re still beyond grateful to be on this side of U.S.; studying what you love, forming new relationships, creating memories, and above all gaining independance and finally #Adulting. You got this, ladies!


Emerson contributor