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Going to College Out of State

Posted by on Thursday, February 6, 2020 in College Life, Freshman Life, General Information, Nashville, Student Life.

I grew up in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, which is about 35 minutes outside of Ann Arbor. The University of Michigan is located in Ann Arbor, and because of the proximity and prestige/reputation of Michigan, almost everyone from my hometown wanted to go to Michigan. I was one of very few people from my high school to go to school out of state, and now, I am the only person out of my friends from home who does not go to school in-state. Most of my friends go to the University of Michigan or Michigan State, and this can be difficult at times because I am so far away from the people I grew up with and my family.

If you are considering coming to Vanderbilt and are not from Tennessee, this post is for you! Here is what I have learned from going to a school far from home:

  1. The first couple of weeks are exciting and scary. I knew next to no one coming to Vanderbilt, and I had to make all new friends. This was in contrast to my friends from home who all had the crutch of going to college with people that they already knew. I had to meet all new people on my own, which was scary but very rewarding. I had no biases because I had no one’s opinions to go off but my own, which was very refreshing! This is also a good skill to have post-grad when you enter the workforce, often alone and without the comfort of familiar faces.
  2. Family is important. Growing up, I always had my family right by my side. When you choose to go to school out of state, you give this up, and I realized how much I took it for granted. There is no one else quite like family so it is important to stay in touch with your family as much as possible. Thankfully, this is easy with FaceTime, social media, and texting!
  3. I have learned to be more independent. In high school, I rarely did anything alone. There was always a friend or a family member to eat meals with me, workout with me, watch a movie with me, etc. However, in college, everyone is on their own schedule and everyone is busy. I have learned to be okay with keeping myself company and doing things on my own when my friends are busy.

Going out of state for college is not for everyone and I definitely get homesick at times. However, I have grown so much as a person and I think it can be very beneficial to go outside of your comfort zone!

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