Hey y’all! This week’s guest post is from Ashley over at A Little Ashley. I’m so excited that she came to me with the idea of doing a guest post about advice for out-of-state college students, because it’s something that both Gabby and I can relate to! I’ll be posting Ashley’s social media links at the bottom of the post, so don’t forget to check them out!
Hey y’all! Let me introduce myself, I’m Ashley and I blog about all sorts of college and lifestyle things over at alittleashley.blogspot.com. I attend Clemson University in South Carolina and am a rising junior. I am so excited to be writing for The Swirl. I have been following Gabby and Hannah’s blog for quite a while now and find so many of their posts extremely relatable. I wanted to keep with the theme of being relatable in my guest post and talk (write) about a topic Gabby, Hannah, and I are all familiar with, going to school out of state. Like I said, I go to college in South Carolina, but I am originally from the great state of Texas – 16 hours and over 1,000 miles from Clemson. I have learned a lot from my last two years and want to share some advice for those of you who are also taking the leap and going far from home.
It is OKAY to miss home!
The first month or so, I didn’t want to admit if I missed home. I was never really homesick, but there were times when I wished I could be home with my family. I never wanted to say anything about it (especially to my parents), because it was my choice to move so far away and I didn’t want it to come across that I wasn’t happy (which I was). Sometimes you just have little moments where you wish you could be in your own room and hang out with your little brother. Don’t be afraid to admit if you’re missing home. You’re 18 and probably are on your own for the first time, no matter how far you go, you’re likely to miss home.
Bring pictures/mementos of home
Before I moved away, I had TONS of pictures printed – of my family, of my friends and I, of my dogs. I hung up a bunch on the bookshelves in my dorm and it was really comforting to see some familiar faces. Also, any of my friends could tell you that I am a stereotypical, obnoxious Texan (can’t help it, we’re trained that way). I have tons of Texas things in my room: a painted canvas, a postcard, a flag, some random knick-knacks, and a quilt. That’s probably overkill, I know, but I like having a little bit of home with me.
Keep in touch with parents, grandparents, and friends
This is along the same idea as bringing pictures and things with you; sometimes you just want to feel connected to home. One of the easiest ways to do this is connect with the people at home. My first semester I regularly called my mom at a time I knew she was available. She and I have always been close so it was comforting to fill her in on my life like I would in high school. If you’re having a rough day, call your best friend or your parents. Grandparents like to hear from you too! It’ll make you feel better and they will love hearing from you.
Know you are not alone
I struggled a lot at first with feeling lonely and as if no one understood the adjustment I was going through. It didn’t help that my freshman roommate was from a nearby town, could go home whenever she wanted, and frequently hung out with her high school friends who were also at Clemson. There is nothing wrong with this; it was just the complete opposite of my experience, and I ended up being and feeling alone in my dorm quite a few weekends. Just know there are plenty of other out of state people who completely understand what you’re going through, because they’re doing it too.
Join all the things
I cannot stress this one enough. The easiest way to start feeling at home is to find your new “family,” the people who will constantly be there for you at school, your best friends. Of course, to find your family, you have to get out there and meet people. Go through recruitment, sign up for clubs align with your major or passions, go to everything you can. Not only will these activities help you find new friends, but they will keep you busy so you won’t have time to think about missing home.
My final tidbit of advice: DON’T COMPARE!
The first semester or year (or in my case second semester sophomore year) can be really tough. You see friends from high school on social media with all of their new friends, having the time of their lives, and think “why am I not as happy as they are?” Remember they are going through the same changes you are. Remember that social media is just a highlight reel and you are not getting the full story. Remember not to compare your experience to anyone else’s because everyone is different.
Thank you to Gabby and Hannah for letting me guest post! And best of luck to any of you who are starting your out-of-state journey.
Thanks so much for guest posting for us this week, Ashley! If you enjoyed this post as much as I did, make sure to share it and visit Ashely on her website and social media accounts (linked below!).
Twitter – https://twitter.com/a_little_ashley
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/a_little_ashley/
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/alittleashley18/