As a high school senior, one of the things you probably dream about is getting out of your parent’s house and living a collegiate lifestyle. After living in the same town and attending the same school for years, the prospect of meeting new friends in a different environment can be exciting. But while being away from your parents may seem like a good idea, there are a lot of extra responsibilities when it comes to attending a college. If you’re looking to move out of state for a university of your choice, here are a few tips to check out.
As you unpack your belongings and get everything situated in your new dorm room, you’ll soon realize that no one is going to be looking after you. While that can mean freedom in some aspects of life, you also won’t have anyone making meals, cleaning up the bathroom or kitchen, and reminding you of important meetings or events. You’ll need to be responsible for all of your daily living needs, including laundry! And even if your parents do help with providing money for food or services, you’ll need to plan out your days accordingly.
Moving to a different state can be disorienting, and most students can experience a fair amount of culture shock when leaving their hometown and family. While some differences may be small, such as slang, accents, and immediate surroundings, you could also experience unfamiliar stores, high prices for food, and lifestyle changes that can rock your boat. The best way to cope with the adjustment of a new environment is to take time and soak it in. And if you’re feeling particularly homesick, ask your parents to send you a care package of snacks from home that you might not find at your local market.
While many believe that ‘distance makes the heart grow fonder,’ it can also make hometown friendships and relationships very difficult and cause them to end. While making new friends at college, it can be tough to communicate with friends from high school and keeping up with their daily lives can seem impossible. While social media can make keeping in touch easier, you still won’t be hanging out with your usual crowd of friends every day. To stay connected with long-distance friends, be sure to plan hangouts whenever there are holidays and school breaks.
One of the biggest struggles that students face when moving out of state is handling their finances. You could be in charge of paying your own medical bills, meals, gas, and lodging, which takes a lot of planning and hard work. And since fun college activities such as eating out, movies, and concerts all cost money as well, you’ll need to budget for the things you like to do. While getting a job is an ideal solution, you’ll also need to balance going to class with a work schedule, which can be stressful if not coordinated well. And if you need help with your financial struggles, you can devise a plan with your parents before you leave or talk to a guide on your college campus.
Moving into Dorm Life
If you’re used to having a room to yourself, one of the biggest changes you may have to face is moving into a dorm. For starters, there’s coping with moving day, which is a stress-filled, adrenaline-packed day during which most colleges give you a very short window to get moved in. Moving to college from out of state can pose additional logistical challenges, making this day even more complicated. If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of moving, check out these helpful tips from this Washington DC mover. Even after you get settled into your new dorm room (check out these storage tips), it may be stressful adjusting to life with a roommate or suitemate. Her Campus suggests that setting expectations early, being respectful, and cleaning up after yourself will go a long way in laying a healthy foundation for a happy year together.
Moving away to college will likely be one of the most challenging, most rewarding, and most memorable experiences of your life. As you adjust to life in a new place, manage new responsibilities, and maintain relationships with old friends, don’t forget to take the time to enjoy your college experience.