It’s not easy attending school far from home. Keep reading for 10 struggles you will be able to relate to if you go to college far from your home!
1. You feel like everyone went to high school together.
Making friends in college is hard enough, but especially when you feel like you are already an outsider. Your friend in math went to high school with your lab partner, who dated your roommate. When you ask where someone is from it is always one of three answers. When people ask where you are from they look at you like they have never heard of the state you grew up in.
2. Everyone asks why you came here.
When you get asked where you are from, the first thing that they say back is “So what made you come here?” That question has been asked so many times and you say the exact same response every time. The question has become equally as annoying as the question “Where are you going to college and what are you studying?” was during the college application process. You love that you are unique and “foreign” in a way to your friends, but the question gets really old sometimes.
3. Going home is a hassle.
Personally, my trip home is an Uber that almost costs $100, a flight covering 800 miles of distance, and another Uber or taxi ride home. If I do not want to do that, I can take a train and then a taxi from the train station to the airport, and then fly home that way. My third option would be to drive the ten hours to my house with a car that I do not have. You have to plan weeks ahead of time to make sure you can book all your transportation tickets. Spur of the moment visits home do not exist. The plus side though, is that you get more miles for future upgrades.
4. You have to bring your whole wardrobe on move-in day.
Because you are so far, there is no such thing as seasonal packing. You bring up the flip flops and bathing suits along with the bulky sweaters and snow pants. Packing is a real struggle, not to mention fitting it in your limited drawer and closet space. And chances are, you forgot something crucial that will take three weeks to be shipped to you. Forgot your sneakers for the gym? I guess you are getting an early start on the freshman fifteen.
5. You feel like everyone goes home on the weekends and you are stuck.
Whether it be a holiday or just a random weekend, sometimes you feel like you are the only one on campus while everyone else is back home for whatever reason. There are no parties to go to, and if there are, there is no one to go with. You don’t always wish you were home too, but get sad when you are on campus or in your dorm room alone for a few days. You love the time to yourself but after a while you just resort to sleeping or watching Netflix instead of actually doing something productive.
6. You like a different sports team.
When you are a sports fan and go to a school in a whole new region, you are most likely going to be the only one within a hundred mile radius. The games themselves probably aren’t even aired on TV because they are so irrelevant to where you live now. To watch them, you have to Skype a parent or friend or pay for them online the next day. When people see you wearing gear advertising your team, there is endless judging. Your friends all bond over football and hockey together and you are the outsider just bandwagoning for the heck of it. Of course your team is your favorite, but you start to adopt a secondary team. (But of course when your team wins, you earn instant bragging rights.)
7. You can’t hang out with your new college friends over break because you live a thousand miles away.
Everyone loves a good vacation, and part of that is because you get to see your friends without the stress of academics and other obligations hanging over your head. However, when you live far away, you are limited to only seeing your high school friends. Do not get me wrong, that is amazing, but all of your college friends are hanging out together at the same time and you cannot help but feel a little left out. This is not as much of a problem over winter break or Thanksgiving, but summer is a whole three months that interrupts your time with the new besties you made last year. They say not to live in high school for the rest of your life right?? Well, unless you want no friends other than your mom and dog, high school it is!
8. You experience serious culture shock.
In most cases you stay in the same country when going off to college and to a place that speaks the same language, but that does not mean there is not a whole different culture. There are different fast food restaurants or a difference in preferences, like Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks, or Costco and BJ’s. There is not a Chick Fil A for hours, and I feel a little deprived. There is a different slang as well. “Sice” and “geek” may be a huge part of your upbringing, but it is “hella” or “wicked” somewhere else and you have to learn a whole new vocabulary. People do not always understand you either. I was raised in the northern Virginia metropolitan area, and I refer to DC, Maryland, and Virginia as the DMV. Others know it only as the Department of Motor Vehicles, just an example of the newfound language barrier. There is different weather and different music trends too, adding to the overwhelming amount of differences. What you do get, however, is perspective, and that is invaluable.
9. If you happen to feel homesick or actually sick, going home isn’t an option.
If you have ever been sick in college, you know how hard it can be to get better when you live in a room the size of a petri dish. If you are homesick, all you want to do is sleep in your own bed. You feel like you are the only one that cannot go home to mom and dad when you are in need of a little healing. You would kill to go home and rest in bed for a day or hug your dog, and it is hard to feel better when you are only thinking of the endless reasons you cannot go home. But learning to deal with personal problems on your own is part of college, so you learn pretty quickly how to fend for yourself in the real world and be independent.
10. You become a hometown groupie.
The best part about being far from home is that you appreciate where you come from a little more. Your wardrobe slowly starts to consist of only sweatshirts representing things from your hometown. If you are a girl, there is a big chance you own a necklace in the shape of your home state. You start to throw money out the window on stickers for your laptop, posters for your wall, coffee mugs, pillows, and endless amounts of t-shirts. People will start to refer to you as the name of your state, and you love it.