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How do I adjust when going to college out of state?

I am moving from Texas to California for college and I was wondering what are some good ways to adjust to my new setting and still be successful in school? How do I beat home sickness? How should I make new friends? And how do all these factors help me keep up with my college goals?

#college-bound #moving #school #college #life-transitions #adjusting


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Jackie’s Answer

Beginning a new chapter of your life in a new state is one of the most challenging yet wonderful life experiences because you get to start over in a new place and do things independently. I would say the most difficult thing is adjusting to the area and not knowing what is around for you to enjoy; therefore, I would suggest moving in a couple days early so that you get a feel for whats around you and understand the culture of the new city you're in.

Making new friends also seems difficult, especially if you're not moving with friends, however I can assure you that once you meet the people who encourage you and support you throughout college, you will know you made the right decision in moving. My advice for this is during move in day whether its a dorm or apartment, keep the door open for neighbors to stop by and say hello while you do the same, or even joining social clubs that may help you branch out and find your people!

Homesickness is tough to beat, however, keeping yourself occupied through school and making new friends is a great way to relieve that feeling. Organizing has become a big part of my college adjustment since I don't have any parental supervision, therefore making a plan for your day, whether its grocery shopping, doing laundry, cleaning your room, or doing homework, keeping yourself busy is a good way to take your mind off missing home. If you feel as though you are not finding the right people that make you feel at home, there are plenty of people to talk to on campus to help you adjust to college living.

I provided some links on how to adjust to a college lifestyle!

Jackie recommends the following next steps:

College Clubs to Join: https://thebestschools.org/magazine/popular-college-clubs/
Packing For College In a Different State: https://www.thespruce.com/pack-for-college-when-moving-2436252

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Bryan’s Answer

Well - it was 35 years ago when I decided to leave my home town and go out-of-state to a college of 25,000 people where I knew NOBODY. While that was a long-time ago, I was reminded of the challenges when my oldest daughter left for college out-of-state 2 1/2 years ago and I'm in the process of preparing my youngest daughter to go out-of-state for college next year.

First, I'll say kudos for you to take on this exciting new adventure......taking risk in life is a great way to learn and grow. I've often said to my daughters that we have to be willing to "be uncomfortable" to grow....and you'll certainly have some moments of being uncomfortable.

The main advice I would give you is to immerse yourself in your new environment - remember, that everyone is going through a transition - even if they are from in-state, they are going to be PLENTY of people who are in a totally new environment. There are so many ways to get connected with people in your new environment - be sure to take advantage of all those opportunities. Equally important to immersing yourself into the new environment is having a plan for how you will get through the more challenging times. When I was away at college, I often found that on Sunday afternoons/evenings is when I would feel homesick and down. Back then, we didn't have things like FaceTime or even cell phones....in fact, there was a pay phone at the end of the hall in my dorm that we used to call home. Because I knew that Sunday's were my toughest times, I established a new routine with a few of my friends for Sunday's. This was a way for me to have something to look forward to on the days when I most often felt homesick.

Hope this helps and good luck with your adventure!

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G. Mark’s Answer

Well, you're going to college at a pretty fortunate time. You have the internet. You can send and receive email, tweets, text messages and video calls. You have practically unlimited access to send and receive pictures. You can encourage your family and friends back home to use all of these. If they have problems using some tech, encourage other friends and family to help them out. This is a huge change from, for example, the first time I went to China. At that time, even advanced as our communications was, email was failing, pictures were out of the question, internet access was terrible and cellphone service back to the US was nearly impossible. Plus, since you're just going out of state, and I assume you mean within the USA, you have no problem at all. In fact, most of your problems will be the occasional bad connection or email delay from some technical glitch, because we've become so spoiled by how wonderful this is.

Second thing you'll need to do is make friends. Having a roommate is good. You can explore the area together and share resources, like access to transportation, entertainment, emergency help in case you get ill or have an accident. This will help with a feeling of security. And -- this is important -- encourage your friends to help keep you focused and organized on your studies. Form study groups for any classes. These study groups will be your social structure as well, and you'll help each other coe with homesickness and the like.

I was fortunate enough to have all of these things working for me, and it worked out great. So don't look at this like "being away", but "exploring new stuff to share". These will be good memories you will cherish. Even if you do have a bout with the flu or a sunburn once or twice. More time to make those video calls.


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Gloria’s Answer

I went out of state for college as well. It was a long time ago so I did not have some of the great resources that colleges have today. I would first recommend to see what your college to connect students ahead of your arrival to the school. When you get to campus, get involved in clubs or student groups. This is a great way to meet new people. A lot of your peers are going to be people who grew up around your school. I found that school was much easier when I felt connected to the community. I had friends who would share their lives with me, inviting me to Sunday dinners with their families or places to go off campus. Connecting with the community can be a great way to get through college. You will learn about a new place and make friends that you never could have met otherwise. As for home sickness, make sure that you have a plan to stay in touch with people back home. I called my mom every Sunday night without fail. With social media today, you can actually connect a lot more, but it is important that you stay connected in real time - by talking or FaceTiming. Be open to new experiences and new types of people.

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Gloria’s Answer

I went out of state for college as well. It was a long time ago so I did not have some of the great resources that colleges have today. I would first recommend to see what your college to connect students ahead of your arrival to the school. When you get to campus, get involved in clubs or student groups. This is a great way to meet new people. A lot of your peers are going to be people who grew up around your school. I found that school was much easier when I felt connected to the community. I had friends who would share their lives with me, inviting me to Sunday dinners with their families or places to go off campus. Connecting with the community can be a great way to get through college. You will learn about a new place and make friends that you never could have met otherwise. As for home sickness, make sure that you have a plan to stay in touch with people back home. I called my mom every Sunday night without fail. With social media today, you can actually connect a lot more, but it is important that you stay connected in real time - by talking or FaceTiming. Be open to new experiences and new types of people.

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Tori’s Answer

Going to college out of state is an exciting time but can definitely be filled with anxiety. I went to college out of state and just tried to change my outlook and see it as an exciting adventure instead of as me "leaving". I definitely recommend staying in a dorm for your freshman year. It is a fast way to make a bunch of friends and be surrounded by a community so you don't feel lonely. Join clubs, rush a sorority/fraternity, go to all the freshman activities, and play intramural sports. These are all ways I met people and now I have lifelong friends! Good luck and I promise if you jump in excited and ready to make new friends you will have the best time!


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Sheila’s Answer

Hello Hannah:

I went to college out of state, which was a long time ago and the resources you have today were not available/existed (ie, internet, cell phones, FB, tweeter, video, etc. etc.) back then. Today, students can now select their roommates in advance (I did not have this option), select their living arrangements, etc. You have received many good responses from posters, which I agree with. There's no right or wrong answer. Just ponder on what works best for you.

Good luck to you!

~ Sheila

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