Transitioning to College When You're Far Away from Home
I always get the question, “How did you end up in Arizona?” and the answer is always the same. The summer before my senior year of high school, I was fortunate enough to go abroad and meet a friend from Tucson. She told me about the University of Arizona and how she would be attending college there the following year. Fast forward a few months and I am visiting campus during Family Weekend and immediately felt a connection. The tall brick buildings, smiling students walking to class, the lush greenery from the Mall. At this point, I had already visited 14 schools and was ready to call some place my future home.
It can be hard to move to a new place and not know a single soul. Although my family was excited for me, there is something bittersweet about being so far away. Growing up, I was lucky enough to attend sleepaway camp, travel, and learn to adjust to new surroundings; so I knew I would find my friends here eventually. I always tell people on the UA campus tours that I give that the more involved you get, the smaller campus gets. This is a true fact!
The first thing I got involved with at the UA was Greek Life. I went to a small private school growing up and knew I needed to find a smaller community within this large campus. For me, joining a sorority has been everything I could have asked for and more. I met my best friend, gained two amazing little sisters (I am an only child), and met inspiring people that challenge me to be the best version of myself every day. From there, I got a job on campus and joined organizations to meet even more people. It is so fun walking around campus and between classes saying hello to friends and waving to people you know. Getting involved and active on campus truly helped me transition to the University of Arizona!
Concerned about transitioning to college and being far away from home? Check out these tips:
- Stay engaged! Joining clubs and organizations helps distract you from homesickness!
- Establish a routine. Just like in high school, it helps to maintain a regular schedule to manage your time well.
- Do something to feel close to home, such as hanging photos of friends and family around your dorm room.
- Talk to someone. Get to know other out-of-state students who can relate to your experience.
- Time flies. Thinking that time is shorter actually makes time go faster!
I hope you enjoyed these tips on transitioning to college when you’re far away from home. I have used all of them during my almost four years at UA and they have been invaluable in helping me adjust and enjoy my time here. Until next time future Wildcats!