Many young people spend their time in high school fantasizing about spending their early adulthood at a school far from their hometowns. Many of those who grew up in small town (myself included) long for a college campus that is far enough away from their original homes that are full of unique new experiences and exotic locales that will help to introduce them to a larger world. However, while going to school in a far off place can be exciting, it is far from easy. Being far from your home can lead to homesickness, loneliness, and a lack of support when adjusting to your new environment. Overall, there are plenty of benefits and challenges that come along with going away to school, and it’s best that they all be taken into consideration when choosing a school.
Finding a school that you love that happens to be farther away from your home than you’ve ever been can bring about a myriad of emotions. Excitement is the primary one most people feel, as the prospect of finding a new place in the world where you may learn a great deal about yourself is, well, pretty exciting. The prospect of a new sense of independence and new adventures can bring about a feeling of joy in a young student, but you must also be aware of the difficulties that leaving home poses. You may find yourself jealous of your friends who live within driving distance of the school and can go home whenever they choose. Being homesick is completely normal, and is something you’ll learn to overcome as you become more comfortable with the area and make new friends. It should also be said that there’s nothing wrong with calling home every once in a while, and your parents will definitely appreciate it when you do.
In my own experience as a small town kid who went off to school (not very far, admittedly, but far enough), the best thing I did when I was at school that allowed me to adjust to my new environment was take my first completely free weekend to walk around the town I was going to school in, go to some local restaurants, and take the evening and nights to get to know the people around me. It’s an easy, and hopefully fun way to get acquainted with your surroundings and make some new friends.
Wherever you go to school, the most important thing is to find a community that makes the campus you’re living on feel like a home. Four years is a long time, find a space for yourself so you can get through it. Good luck!
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