I am from a small rural town in North Carolina called Reidsville. I like to describe it to my friends as a “Hallmark” town. It is one of those places where everybody knows everybody. The kind of place where my hairdresser lives in my neighborhood, if you are bored you drive around and if you need a snack, no worries because there is a Dollar General on every other street.
My town’s population is around 14,500 people, so you can imagine my surprise when I learned that North Carolina State University’s (NCSU) student body was double that. As you might expect, going from small town living to big city living was “just really tough,” as I told my parents every night. My first few days on campus before classes started were some of the longest days of my life. Living in an eight-person suite with strangers and wandering around such a big campus was a tremendous change. I missed my hometown, the little traffic, and my friends.
It wasn’t until classes finally started, and I began going to interest meetings for clubs that I started enjoying college. My suitemates and I held game and movie nights. I experienced my first gameday, which even with no tickets, a loss and pouring rain, was a success. I began crafting a routine, learning my way around campus and getting used to the dining hall food. It took five days from the day I moved in for me to stop feeling physically homesick. Sometimes, I still miss my hometown, but I am lucky enough to have friends to lean on whenever I feel homesick. The fact that NCSU’s campus is always bustling helps me feel like I am not alone. There are so many activities and people that there is always something to do.
Although NCSU’s campus is much different from my small town, it is beginning to feel like home. A little less redneck and a whole lot more red and white.