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8 Struggles of Being an Out of State Student

Although going to college in a different state may seem exciting—new state, away from family, finally being on your own—sometimes it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Here are 8 ~struggles~ every out of state student has faced at least once in their college career.


1. Traveling home is always difficult.

Whether you have to fly, take the train or drive back home, it’s going to take some time. Despite being anxious and excited with the idea of traveling back and forth between your hometown and college, sometimes it just takes too long to get there. You wish you were only a quick drive away, rather than having to endure a six-hour flight to get back home.

Photo by Josh Sorenson


2. Adjusting to a new culture is weird but worth it.

Moving to a new state means having to adjust to a new environment. You would think Californians and New Yorkers would have similar lifestyles, but they surprisingly do not. Having to learn a new slang, like how some say they are “on line” rather than “in line” is something you would never have thought you would need to learn but, nevertheless learning how others live is just as exciting as learning about your major.

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3. Communicating with family and friends is a challenge.

Honestly, I’m so thankful for FaceTime and Skype because spending months away from your family can be hard, especially when they don’t live in the same state as you. Even if you cannot video chat with them, a phone call can still suffice so you at least get to hear their voice. Sucky university WiFi doesn’t help either because you are constantly trying to find a good spot just so the video isn’t pixelated or the call doesn’t drop. But when you do find that sweet spot, it becomes your go-to whenever you feel the need to call home.

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4. Missing family and friends back home.

When the constant challenge of being able to contact your family back home becomes a little too much, you get hit with a wave of sadness and realize just how long it will be until you are reunited with them again. It’s tough when you can’t see them easily, but you know that wherever they are, they are probably missing you just as much as you miss them.

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5. Different time zones just add to the challenge of communicating.

Although not everyone has to experience living in a different timezone just because they go to school in a different state, those who do understand how challenging it can be. You’re confused when none of your friends reply in the group chat, then you remember that they’re probably sleeping because it’s 8 am your time and technically 6 am back home. Plus, every time you go back and forth from home, you have to adjust to the time difference and your sleeping schedule is rough.

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6. You now have two homes.

Despite this happening to anyone who moves away for college, all of the emotions of having a home away from home are heightened when you live in another state. When you go back home, everything seems familiar—because you used to live there of course—but there is just something off about it. You would think your hometown would really feel like “home” but the more you adjust to your new life in a new state, the more your hometown feels less like home.

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7. Climate differences.

Just as you have to adjust to a new lifestyle, adjusting to a new climate is also really important. It’s something you don’t really think about until you’re finally in your new state. Whether it’s from hot to cold or vice versa, a new climate means having to get new clothes and realizing that winters on the West Coast are for sure, not like the ones on the East Coast.

Photo by AJ Povey


8. Finding your place in a new state.

Like everyone else in college, you just want to find your place. Your “home away from home.” Whether your hometown is thirty minutes from your university or in another state, you know that you will always have a piece of home with you no matter where you are. Despite facing everyday struggles of being an out of state student, you know it’s worth it because college is the time to get out there and find yourself—which is exactly what you’re doing!

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Originally from Southern California and now living on Long Island! I am a self-declared sushi addict who enjoys good music and good people x (p.s. if anyone knows how to survive an east coast winter, please let me know!!)
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