BWW Blog: Adjusting to College Life Away From Home
If you're a college freshman, or a transfer student like me, who has finally made the big (and seemingly scary!) decision to move away from home to study theatre in college, CONGRATULATIONS! It is an exciting journey with lots of navigating to be discovered and in the long run, definitely helps you to find your own individuality.
You may be worrying about the things you'll be leaving behind: your favorite coffee shop, your childhood pet, your parents, your favorite hiking trail, and most importantly, your childhood home! But there's a lot of ways you can keep a solid connection to your life back home while at the same time, forging your own path in a new place. Here are a few that were most helpful for me!
1. Facetime/Phone Calls- These are a great way to have that virtual "face to face" connection with your loved ones. When you're missing the sound of your dad's voice or want to see how adorable your dog looks in his new ugly Christmas sweater, having reminders of life at home can be really comforting when you're homesick.
2. Care Packages- Getting a special package from your parents, grandma, or friends can make your entire month! Chocolate, extra fuzzy socks, snacks, or in my case, more clothes from home because I forgot to bring my Disneyland sweaters! It's like mini Christmas throughout the year, having your family or friends send you little things that you love to make you smile.
3. Decorating Your Dorm- For me, decorating my dorm room and having my own space was an important part of college life. Commuting from home at my first college, I hadn't gotten the "dorm decorating" experience until I transferred to University of Northern Colorado and finally lived in a residence hall. Having a photo wall was wonderful! I was able to bring some of my favorite photos of friends, pictures of my 18 year old cat, childhood photos, as well as add in new pictures of adventures at school! At the end of the day, having a nice mix of your favorite things to look at while implementing aspects of your new life as a college student makes all the difference.
4. Join Clubs/Make Friends- Creating a solid network of support is always great; because you'll have people you can turn to for hugs and help when you're feeling homesick or having a hard time with classes. College campuses have TONS of clubs and organizations that you can join and become part of the community. Clubs can connect you to hobbies that you have a new found interest in or maybe something that you were a part of in high school and want to carry over/maintain through your college journey. (Personally, I'm still holding out for a Laura Osnes club.)
5. Cry It Out! - If all else fails, have a good cry! Allowing yourself to feel the difficult emotions and homesickness, however deep, is completely normal, and important. College is a weird transition in life and letting your mind and body adjust to a new environment takes time. Be gentle with yourself, remember that you're studying something you're passionate about, that you have a community of support wherever you are and know that you'll get to come back home and see your family in just a few short months, with new experiences and fun stories to share!