Dear Fellow Out-of-Staters,
I get it, it is hard. When you said “goodbye” to your peers at high school graduation, you didn’t know when your next “hello” would be. While everyone else in your town has the ability to go home on random weekends for a home-cooked meal and their bed, you can’t. While everyone else still sees their best friends from high school at least weekly, you don’t. You took a leap of faith and showed up on that August morning to a university that took forever to drive to, and you didn’t know a soul. You sat on your bed confused, scared, and uncomfortable.
Your friends stayed close to their high school friends, since most went to the same in-state university. During Christmas break you tried to hang out and catch up with them, but they had too many inside jokes and memories from the fall that you weren’t a part of. You lost the comfort of the ability to see your first friends, family, favorite restaurant, dog, and bed. It is an uncomfortable adventure to go out-of-state.
However, never forget it is an adventure. It is a blessing. You are growing as a person, learning how to start over, finding your true identity, and escaping your comfort zone. That, my friend, is beautiful. Yes it was hard, but every adventure you participate in throughout life requires effort, energy, and the feeling of being uncomfortable. However, that is what makes the adventure worth it.
It wasn’t as easy to leave your home state as expected, especially in the beginning. You hated the changes at first. There were different cultural norms, different styles, different weather, and — hardest of all — different foods. It turned out to be nothing like you expected when you left your home that August morning. However, you didn’t even realize how leaving all you ever knew was making you grow as a person.
See, going out of state for college molds you into a more independent and adventurous person. You are challenging yourself daily, and you are continually rewarded with new skills, memories, and adventure. It wasn’t easy. You cried at times and learned what loneliness actually felt like. You learned what a gift FaceTime and Skype can be, and the importance of booking flights in advance. You learned how important the uncomfortable is in helping you grow as a person. You even learned to appreciate your roots more than before.
Maybe you had to ditch the parka, or invest in one. Maybe you had to buy cowboy boots for your first football game. Maybe you learned what good seafood actually tasted like.No matter what, the one thing you won’t ever forget from your time as an out-of-state college student is how beautiful change can be if you choose to be optimistic.
P.S. Call your parents more, they miss you.
“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”
Originally posted here: