Going away to college is a big adjustment for anyone, but the way in which it is difficult really depends on the individual. For some, moving away from home is hard because one may not know anyone from home going to the same school, or they have never been away from home before. In general I have a hard time with drastic change, and it was extremely anxiety inducing moving away from the people I was most comfortable with and the people who I love the most. Everyone has a different experience going to college hours away from home, but we fail to realize that so many of us have the same difficulties.
I think one of the biggest difficulties of going away to college is the fact that there is so much that is unknown. You probably don’t know who your roommate or suite-mates will be, you don’t know what it is like using a communal bathroom, you don’t know what the work load will be, and like me, you don’t know how you’re going to live so far away from your best friends and family. From the moment I stepped out of the car and got on line to get my room keys, the sadness hit me like a brick wall. I did not want to leave home, I did not want to be away from my best friends who live so close to me, I did not want to stop playing and cuddling with my dog, and mostly I did not want to leave my parents behind. Many people are so excited to go to college to get away from their parents mostly because they are controlling or have strict rules, but I have such a strong bond and close relationship with my parents that I really didn’t want to leave. Not having people that I knew super well at the same school as me, made it difficult for me to adjust easily, and honestly made me miss my parents even more. I was that girl that sat in my room sulking about missing my mom, and I cried the first couple of times that I spoke on the phone with my parents. In the beginning, I was embarrassed by this. But now, I am aware and realize that that is what helped me be independent, and helped me learn to handle situations on my own. People need to learn to be more understanding and accepting of people who do have a hard time with this transition, because many of us feel alone for quite some time.
The adjustment to college life is a big one and we don’t always see the harder parts. Parents and family tend to sugar coat what the transition will be like, saying that college will be the best time of your life and more. We move to a completely new environment with all new people and are expected to become complete best friends with the people we live with and are expected to have this miraculous transition. I had a hard time getting used to the new environment and new routine, but eventually got used to it. It is a major transition and I think the society we live in is one that judges people so harshly, that when we have a hard time with a new situation, we are taught to hide it and bottle it up.