8 Tips for Out-of-State Freshman

Going out of state for college can be no big deal for some, but for others, it's a huge life adjustment. Region, culture, climate, and tons of other things can shake up how you see the world, just as you're going out on your own for the first time. And while it might seem like everyone has it figured out, especially if there are tons of people around you who went to the same college as half of their high school class and can go home whenever they want, remember that there are tons of advantages to getting outside of your home state and comfort zone. But while you're figuring everything out, here are a few tips to help you get out there. 

 

  1. 1. Look for an Out-of-State student group

    Your school might have a special group or experience set up just for out-of-state Freshman. This group is most likely responsible for hosting events for out-of-state freshman so that they can talk, bond, and get to know each other. Watch out for events held by a group like this (at LMU it's the Out of State Council), or find a way to get involved by being a part of the group who organizes the events. 

  2. 2. Go to school-sponsored events and gatherings

     

     

    Schools want everyone to be involved on campus. Whether it’s clubs, jobs, sports, Greek life, or something else, help to pump up the school spirit at all the events on campus. It’s a great way to meet people and immerse yourself in the culture of your school.

  3. 3. Join clubs

    While signing up for a ton of clubs at the beginning of the year might seem daunting, sign up for as many as you can and then whittle down later. The clubs that you do decide to join will be a great place to meet people who share your interests, and can also be a resource for you throughout the year. 

  4. 4. Get to know people from a variety of places

    Having a diverse group of friends (even if they don’t all hang out together) will help you and make your college experience so much livelier. Think of all the basic facts you say about yourself when introducing yourself on the first day of class, and then try to meet people who share none of your same answers (school, major, hometown, etc.). Knowing people in a variety of places will help you to be more involved on campus, and it’ll mean that you’ve got an inside track into tons of stuff that’s going on.

  5. 5. Go out and explore beyond the campus

    While it can sometimes be hard to get off campus your first year (especially if you don’t have a car), making an effort to explore the city or town around you can really help to fuel your comfort levels. The more you explore and start to feel like a local, the more comfortable you’ll feel at school.

  6. 6. Seek out help if you need it

    Moving away from home can be hard. If you’re struggling mentally, check to see if your school has a Student Psychological Services center where you can talk to a professional about how you’re feeling and adjusting. Additionally, look out for professors and faculty who you really click with. Whether it’s an advisor, coach, or professor you’ve just heard is really cool, know that they want to be there for you to help you, personally and academically. And who knows, maybe they’re far from their hometowns too!

  7. 7. Call your family!

    Your family wants to hear from you! FaceTime, Skype, call, text, whatever it may be. Don’t go too long without talking to your family. It will help to keep you connected and on the same page so you can pick up right where you left off when you go home for breaks.

  8. 8. Remember how long you're actually there

    In the grand scheme of your life, your four years at college is a little blip. Regardless if you plan to stay where your college is after graduation, move back home, or go somewhere new, remember that your time in college is short and that you should make the most of it!