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Five Struggles Every Out-of-State Student Can Relate To

When I tell people that I’m an out-of-state student, the first question I usually get is why’d you come here?

To be fair, I never planned on going to FSU. I was born and raised in Massachusetts and then moved to Maryland in elementary school, so FSU was definitely not on my radar. I didn’t grow up dreaming of becoming a Seminole like some of my friends did and if you had asked me a year ago today even where FSU was, I would have guessed. Don’t get me wrong, as a second-semester freshman, I could not be happier that I chose FSU, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t frustrations that come along with it.

1. Not having Florida Prepaid/Bright Futures

I genuinely don’t think I will ever forgive my parents for not raising me in Florida. It blows my mind that most of my friends don’t realize how lucky they are to have so much of their college paid for, especially when some of my friends are getting paid to go here. Every time I log into the myFSU portal and see my tuition bill, it hurts. My local community college in Maryland is almost the same price as FSU’s in-state-tuition, which is absolutely insane.

2. Only Seeing Your Family on Major Holidays

I made the decision to go 15 hours away from home, and I accept the blame, but it does suck to only see your mom, dad and especially your dog on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Anytime my friends realize that there’s a three-day weekend, or they have early Friday classes, they end up driving home for the weekend, and I am so jealous.


Courtesy: Oskar Kadaksoo 

3. Becoming an Airport Regular           

I used to love flying. It was a treat when I got to go on an airplane because it meant I was going somewhere special. Airports were my own personal Disney World. Instead of Mickey Mouse and Cinderella I was awestruck by flight attendants and TSA agents. I never understood why people made jokes about hating flying, and especially airplane food. Complimentary Sprite, movies and peanuts? I was a simple girl to please, so what more did 8-year-old me need? Now I hate it. I hate that I never time my arrival to the airport perfectly. I either get there way too early and am forced to sit and spend my money on overpriced airport Starbucks coffee, or I get there too late where I end up running to my terminal.

4. Not Understanding Why Everyone Loves Publix So Much

This one might get me in trouble. When I decided to come to FSU, my mom told me that this place called Publix would be my new home. I asked her what it was, and she simply said it was a grocery store, but more. I didn’t get it. I thought to myself, well, we have a Walmart Supercenter, so it must be something like that, right? Wrong. Floridians would kill for Publix. Everyone I met here assured me that Publix was different than a normal grocery store, and it was so much more than a “glorified Walmart” (which is what I call it). My friend from Boca Raton even said her Publix had a valet. A valet. For a grocery store. After I finally made the journey to Publix, to say that I was disappointed is an understatement. The products are overpriced and why is there a random scale in the store? Are they anticipating their customers will see their weight and want to buy more food? 2/10.

Courtesy: Ben Duchac 

5. Not Seeing Your Best Friends for Months at A Time

Sure, everyone tells you about how hard it will be going to school so far away from your family and hometown friends, but no one talks about how hard it is to go back. After handfuls of Suwannee runs, getting yelled at by RAs and pulling all-nighters for absolutely no reason, these people have become part of my family. I have never gotten closer to a group of people so quickly, and even the thought of not seeing them for four months kills me. To go from spending every waking moment with the same 10 people to not even seeing them for weeks upon weeks is the worst.

Taking into account the good, the bad, and the ugly, every single day I thank God I ended up at FSU. I genuinely have never met better people and have never felt so at home. My first time even stepping foot on this campus was on move-in day, and I was terrified. I was hours away from home at a school where I knew and had no one. Now, I can’t imagine going to school anywhere else because I know I was meant to be a Seminole.

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Elizabeth Pam is a freshman at Florida State University currently studying Actuarial Science with a minor in Economics. When not writing for HerCampus, Elizabeth enjoys posting for Blacksheep and playing volleyball.
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