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What I Learned From Going Away to College

From day one as a freshman in high school, we are told that we should start deciding where we want to attend college. As a 14 year old, I was still trying to figure out high school and did not even want to think about college. I am from a city where there are multiple colleges close by to choose from, but as I started to get older, I thought to myself maybe I do not want to stay here.


During my junior year of high school, I decided to take a campus tour around the University of Kentucky to see what it had to offer. By my senior year, I had determined that going away to college was the best choice because I was bored in my home city and slightly on the verge of hating it. UK is only an hour and a half away from my home, so it is the perfect distance to be away at college.


I have learned so much about life and about myself from going away to college in another city. Being on my own has taught me many valuable things, so today I am going to share with you a few of those things I have learned.


  • Getting out of your comfort zone is fun

Going away to college in a different city was definitely the most I have ever gone out of my comfort zone, and I quickly learned that escaping your comfort zone can be very rewarding. There is always something going on around a college campus, so you should go explore the different events and meet as many new people as you can. Getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new can be the most fun thing. Whether it be going to a different restaurant with a new friend or attending a cultural festival, you are bound to learn something and you will have fun while doing it.


  • It is okay to be alone sometimes

Even though a college campus is full of people, I have learned that sometimes it is nice to make time just for yourself. It is important to have some alone time during the week to rest, recharge and collect your thoughts. Taking a walk around campus, reading a book, working out at the gym or just taking a nap are some of the things I have learned help me to de-stress and have some time for myself.


  • You only need a few close friends

When you go away to a different city, you can meet so many new people, and you feel like you need to be friends with everyone. However, I have learned in college that you only need a few close friends to be happy. From being in college, I have learned that you have to weed out a lot of people who are not your true friends in order to see the people who genuinely care about you. Having a handful of great friends is the best thing for you because you know that they will always be there for you and vice versa.


  • I am not an adult yet

Being in a new city at college and away from your parents can be exciting and make you feel slightly like an adult. However, being away at college does not mean you are an adult just yet. I have learned that college can help you become more independent, but I still rely on my parents for advice and helping me so many things. I also have learned that I am not quite an adult yet because I do not pay bills while living in my residence hall, I get meals prepared for me at the dinning hall and I do not have to dress up to go to class or work.


  • There is no place like home

Even though going away to college is a great experience, I still miss home at times. Throughout my time in college, I have gained a greater appreciation for my family and friends at home. I have even learned to like my home city because being somewhere different makes me miss all of the things I used to take for granted. At the end of the day, I know I have loved every minute of being away at college, but nothing compares to being at home and surrounded by the people you love.

As junior at the University of Kentucky, I study Integrated Strategic Communication with a focus in Public Relations. I aspire to be a public relations professional for a healthcare facility that works to positively impact the lives of children, families and the community. My experience as a PR/Marketing intern at the UK International Center has helped me to gain valuable skills in creating promotional digital and print materials for an organization as well communicating to an organization's target audiences. My position as a Resident Advisor as also allowed me to grow my event planning, public communication and creative marketing skills. My top strengths include achiever, developer, futuristic, responsibility and learner.
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