Feeling at Home When You’re Away at College
When I first lived on campus my freshman year, it was a challenge for me not to be at home each waking second, eating my mom’s cooking and sleeping in my own bedroom. Let’s just say, I had a pretty difficult time my first semester and, by the second semester, I was living at home again.
The separation is harder on some than it is others. Some have no trouble feeling comfortable as soon as they move into their dorm room. Whichever of these categories you happen to fall into, here are five things that will help make wherever you go after your high school graduation feel a little more like home;
1. Make Your Dorm Room Your Own
This is one of the simplest ways to make college feel nice and homey. Take advantage of having your own space to decorate and bring it together by hanging up lights, putting pictures on the wall, or investing in some small and manageable house plants.
If you want to bring pieces of your home with you, consider getting the same laundry detergent Mom buys or using the same bed sheets you slept on at home. This is a space that you’ll be spending a lot of your time in, so make it somewhere you enjoy being!
2. Get Involved and Plugged In
Each and every campus has something for every student to get involved with. The great thing about college is that it is a wonderful time to really let your interests determine what you do and who you surround yourself with. Angelo State has more than 100 student organizations for almost everything and anything! If you’re interested in anything from wildlife conservation to Greek life, there’s something for you here.
3. Attend Events
Not only do events give you something to do, but they’re also a great way to meet other peers and make new friends. Grab your roommate and go to an intramural basketball game or a University Center event. Resident halls are also constantly putting on fun events for students.
It might be awkward at first, and you may have to attend one or two events by yourself, but you won’t regret meeting new people and having a lot of fun in the process.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Connect
Build relationships with people in the local community. This, too, can be something that will most likely take a few attempts before anything happens, but you won’t regret those attempts.
Go visit with residents of a retirement home, take a yoga class at the YMCA, or join a knitting circle. ASU’s Student Life Office has several programs that help you volunteer in the community regularly. Not only are these things fun to do, but they also give students an opportunity to unwind and take some time to focus on something other than school or work.
5. Explore Your School Town
If there’s a university, there are usually things to do in the surrounding community. This is something students should approach like a fun experiment.
You and a group of friends could make it a goal to go and do something different in your college town once a week. Discover your new favorite local restaurant, take a Saturday morning to hike around the local state park or check out a paintball range. It’s always fun to find your “spot” in the town you’re living in.
A Final Note
Transitioning from the familiarity of home to college is going to take some getting out of your comfort zone. This is something that nobody ever really enjoys doing, but it will truly make or break your college experience. In getting out of your comfort zone, you’ll surely find your home away from home.