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How did you feel when you first left off for college?

I have never been away from home for very long. I am a home body. I am anxious, but I am also very nervous. I just wanted to know if that was normal and if you could share your own personal experiences. college human-resources help life-coach advising

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Hope’s Answer

I was so excited to be away from home for the first time, I hadn't expected it to mean that I would be alone - no family, no friends. It was a very strange experience to see my parents drive away without me. The technology we carry in our hands today did not exist then, so it was a clean break. But I looked around and saw other freshmen in my building who were in the same boat as me - excited but scared, eating alone in the cafeteria. So we started talking to each other, and going to some activities together, and we had fun. My point is everyone is scared - so don't let that stop you. Try to keep an open mind and you may find you really start to enjoy this new chapter in your life. Good luck!

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Wael’s Answer

It differs from a person to the other. However, I am sure you are going to be fine. You should start learning how to do your laundry, prepare a healthy meal ... Also, people nowadays are just a phone call or a text message away. Don't worry about a thing and everything is going to be fine.

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Adam’s Answer

When I first left for college, it was a mix of emotions. I was excited, nervous and curious. When you are at college, all of the responsibility turns to you. In high school you could have parents, high school friends, teachers or counselors who helped you schedule things and keep you on task. When in college, this is all on you. You make the choices to go to class, do your homework and what your free time is going to look like. It is a huge responsibility and sometimes it can become overwhelming. However, how you feel is unique to you and is the right thing to feel. You may experience homesickness or you may feel you don't want to go home except for the Holidays. Both are okay feelings. You may be introverted and it may be hard to find friends. Dorm life is great for that as you have the opportunity to meet people and get new friends.

Long story short, there are a vast variety of emotions that hit you when you leave for college. You have to embrace them and appropriately deal with them. College life is a huge step in getting ready for what comes after.
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Mariah’s Answer

This is totally normal! I never left home either and I ended up going to college at the age of 17 ( I graduated high school a year earlier than all my peers). Not to mention, I was severely shy, but couldn't stand being alone in large crowds. I felt like I wasn't ready to leave the nest, so I decided to attend a university that was 30 minutes from my home and drive to school.

When I attended my orientation, I had cried a little because I was entirely alone. All of my friends were entering in their senior years and I didn't get to attend college with friends. Also, a lot of the freshmen students had their parents with them at orientation. I didn't know parents could come! Had I known, I would've had mine attend with me.

To avoid feeling this way, I recommend getting involved on campus as soon as you can, so you can make friends! Join clubs, organizations, programs, etc! That changed my life completely. I'm not even shy anymore.

Good luck!
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Sheila’s Answer

Hi Susanne:

Each person will have a different experience when first going off to college. Based on my own experience I went off to college in a different state. Because I was the first in my family to go to college I was extremely excited. I had full support of my family, friends and local community. Going away for the first time was a little frightening but, once I got there I started making friends, joined activities and got a job. I had a very positive experience when I was in college. I worked hard in my studies and had lots of fun along the way. You'll be fine. You can do it! 👍

~ Sheila
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N’s Answer

Hi Susanne!
It is completely normal to feel this way. I, myself, left not only my family but also my country to go to college in the United States. From Morocco to State college, PA at the age of 18. I can assure you that was a big step and a big change. I did not know anyone at my new college, and went there knowing no family nor friends, not knowing what to expect.
I lived in the dorms for the first year, and that is how my first friends were made. It started with my roommate, and went from there. Just remember that everyone around you, is just like you, going through the exact same thing. Some of the people around you may also be home bodies, and you may connect due to that :)
And regarding leaving home for a long time. It gets easier the more you do it, as you get used to it. You can always come back and visit your family as they can do the same. So don't have any fears!
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Gina’s Answer

Hi Susanne,


That's totally normal, especially if you haven't been away from home for very long. I ended up going to college in Tokyo, and before that I didn't travel outside of my hometown of San Francisco very much. Since then I've spent a lot of time traveling and living in different countries. Each time can be a little scary, since you're starting over and need to make new friends and build a new routine, but it's exciting too. The experiences you get from it are great, even if what you learn is that there's no place like home. I'm very introverted and shy, so it takes a while for me to make new friends-- but even I did it, every time, eventually. I'm sure you'll be fine.


Gina

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Maureen’s Answer

My parents wanted me to go to a college close to home. I selected the University of California at Berkeley which was about an hour from my house. Being close by I had the security of knowing that I could go home every weekend. I lived in a dorm with other Freshman so we were all some distance from our parents. Within 6 weeks I was so involved with school and socializing with my new friends, I only went home when my parents insisted.

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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Susanne,

You are completely normal. Going to a new place and meeting new people can be overwhelming on their own and you may be doing both together. You just cannot allow the feelings to overwhelm you. There are ways for you to make sure that you learn as much as possible.

A new place - learn about the city. There are a variety of resources for learning about cities. And learn about campus life. What groups are you interested? What places are you going to want to know well? I would say the Student Union (or some name like that) as well as the Library. Those are big places. You are also going to want to find the familiar. What places do you like to go in your free time? Restaurants and places to buy groceries. Also, you need to find out how far away they are from campus.

When I went away to college, i had no idea what was going to happen. One of the best things that i did was live in the dorms. I also had a roommate. Living in the dorms, you are surrounded by people who are experiencing what you are. They are away from home, many of them for the first time as well. It can help to get into a community as soon as possible. I understand that these days that you can get into a community through social media and make friends before you arrive.

Living away from home is one way for you to grow up really fast. It is a scary, exciting time. Avoid trying to do it alone. You need to create a new community around yourself as soon as possible.

Good luck.
Gloria
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