What It’s Like To Move Away From Home For The First Time

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You’ll learn you have an “accent”: Even if you deny to believe you pronounce words like coffee and water incorrect, you will probably be told you do. You have been told you pronounce words like dog, coffee, and drawer incorrectly so many times now, that you’re probably starting to believe it’s true. You’ll learn your town’s lingo is so much different than the town you reside in now and you’ll find yourself stopping an in-stater mid-conversation and asking “What does that mean?” You’ll listen to yourself speak over and over again trying to grasp the fact that you pronounce words differently than others but you’ll always believe that the in-staters have the accent, not you. You’ll get used to being stopped halfway through a story to have someone say “Wait say that word again,” just so they can tease you about how different you sound, but you’ll always love your so called “accent” and come to the conclusion that every state talks differently in some way.

You’ll miss the food: You’ll start to realize that foods like pizza and bagels just aren’t as good as the ones back home. You’ll be excited to stop at a pizzeria, bagel store, or deli the minute you step foot back into your hometown, and you wont be shy about it either. All 200 of your snapchat friends will know you made a trip to Romeo’s Pizza. You’ll learn to accept the food at your school and realize that maybe the dining hall’s chicken nuggets are exactly what you needed. You’ll even be impressed when your school decides to switch up their dining options because eating new foods has become a luxury when forced to eat the same foods day after day. You’ll learn that the town you live in now can try to compete with the food back home by referring to it as “the best” but you are smart enough to know that no food will ever be as great as takeout or delivery from home.

The weather’s kinda weird: As you walk to class in the beautiful 80 degree weather with sunshine and not a cloud in the sky, and walk home from class in the torrential downpour trying to make it home without appearing like a wet dog, you’ll start to wonder, “has the weather always been this bizarre?” You’ll realize that you never really have the right attire. You want to wear a sweatshirt because your classroom is freezing, but did the weather app really just show it’s 70 degrees in January?

You’ll find yourself on endless adventures: Did I really just uber to target? Do I really have to pump my own gas? Is my lyft bill really over $300 dollars? Whether it’s as simple as making a trip to target or making a trip across town to a REAL grocery store, it always becomes an adventure you and your friends decide to go on together, and it will sure to put a dent on your bank account, or should I say parents bank account, sorry mom and dad.

You make your own little family: It seems crazy to think just months ago you never knew your the neighbors on your floor, your roommate who you stay up late at night telling jokes with, or the group of friends you’ve formed that you laugh until you cry with, eat every meal with, and spend many many late nights with that make you realize how you survived all these years without them by your side. They have become your own little family, and your home away from home, and it’s hard to think about leaving them for summer vacation.

You have to do your own laundry: Can I mix my white t shirts with my blue ones? How many quarters do I need? How many dryer sheets should I use? Can I really dry these jeans or will they shrink? Questions we must ask ourselves as we realize mom isn’t there to wash and dry our clothes and fold our laundry on our beds anymore. (Thanks mom you rock.) You may have learned the hard way by ruining your favorite shirt that said the words hand wash on the label the first week of school but by now you feel like a pro who can open up their own laundromat…. okay maybe not. You now feel more responsible and realize carrying a load of laundry from the third floor to the basement is more of a workout than one would think.

I’ve learned many things my first semester away from home, but all of them have made me a better person. A more independent and confident person. I’ve gained so many amazing people and realized who really matters and who really doesn’t. I’ve learned the importance of studying, going to bed early for an 8 am really does make a difference, and it’s okay to need 7 different alarms to wake up in the morning. I’ve learned to love the nights I spend late night talking with my friends and appreciate every time I receive a package. I’ve learned that it’s okay to call my mom once, twice, maybe even three times a day to ask silly questions because she was a teenager once too.

I’ve learned how much i’ll miss my family and how excited i’ll be to see them when I come home, but I’ve also learned it’s okay to refer to my school as home now too. I’ve learned it’s totally acceptable to eat lunch alone and spend late nights in the study room. I’ve learned to start assignments BEFORE the night before they are due because it will help me in the long run. I’ve learned making a class schedule feels like the hunger games, but most importantly i’ve learned you will meet so many amazing people when attending your first semester of college and discover exactly why you chose the school you did. As I approach the end of my second semester of freshman year I learned just how much I will miss this place over the summer and I can’t wait to be back for another year. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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