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Adjusting To Life at FSU as an Out of State Student

Packing up all your belongings and moving to a different state can be difficult. Libby Bekins, a junior at Florida State University, can attest to the best and worst things about being an out of state student. She is obsessed with all things Nebraska and will most likely mention it within the first 30 seconds of having a conversation. This week, I had the opportunity to talk to her about her experience moving to Tallahassee and why she picked FSU. 

Celina Timmerman-Girl In Winter Hat In The Snow
Celina Timmerman / Her Campus

Her Campus (HC): Why did you decide to attend FSU?

Libby Bekins (LB): My main priority was to go to a school with a Digital Media Program. After doing extensive research, I discovered that FSU had one of the best film and digital media production programs in the country. The opportunities that the university offers students in this program are above and beyond. I get to learn from industry professionals who are the best of the best in this field. Besides the academics, the campus is beautiful and the school offers an abundance of extracurriculars. that allow everyone to meet people who have the same interests as each other. 

HC: What was the hardest thing to adjust to when moving to Florida?

LB: Moving from Nebraska to Florida was a huge transition. As you can imagine, the Midwest is completely different from the South. For starters, the weather in Tallahassee is brutally hot and the humidity is nothing like I’ve ever seen before. Although I love the hot weather, I miss the change in seasons that I get back home. Also, coming from out of state, I have a lot of different mannerisms than the students who have lived in Florida their whole life. Since the majority of my friends are Floridians, I notice a difference in the way we say certain words. For example, I’ll ask my friend for a pop and they look at me like I’m an alien. From spending so much time with them I sometimes say soda instead. However, now when I go home, my friends in Nebraska look at me like I’m an alien for calling it soda! 

HC: What was your experience like when you started freshman year and how has that changed now that you are a junior?

LB: Honestly, freshman year was not easy for me at all. I had a difficult time finding my friends since I came from such a close group of girls in high school back at home. The first few weeks were definitely hard, and it took me a while to adjust. I kept reminding myself to hang in there and eventually I gradually met new people and found girls I clicked with. This made things a lot easier, especially since I became close with my roommate in my dorm and some of my neighbors. Soon I realized everyone around me was new to the Tallahassee area. I got to experience all the Tallahassee firsts with them which was exciting and made me go out of my comfort zone. Now that I am a junior, I have a routine and call this place my second home. 

HC: Does FSU have any programs in place for out of state students to have a smooth transition into the university?

LB: Yes! During my freshman year, I was able to be a part of a counseling program through FSU that directly targeted out of state students. The program is called Life Coaching and it helped make the transition a lot easier. Other than that, there are a lot of clubs that they encourage you to join. I am currently involved with Delta Zeta sorority, Strike Magazine, Philia Magazine and Seminole Productions. These organizations allowed me to make new friends and be surrounded by people who have common interests. 

HC: Finally, what advice would you give to a student that is moving to Tallahassee, Florida from a different state?

LB: I think the most important thing that an out of state student should do is join clubs. My main piece of advice –which sounds cheesy– is to get out of your comfort zone and talk to as many people as possible. This is the best way to make connections and branch out. It can be extremely difficult not knowing anyone in the beginning as you adjust to life at FSU, especially since the students from Florida usually come in knowing at least one person. During my freshman year, I made sure I said hello to everyone in the dorms. As silly as this sounds, this is how I met my best friend in Tallahassee. 

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Jamie is a Political Science major who aspires to become an attorney. In her free time, she enjoys writing, politics, sports, and playing with her puppy.
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