Thursday April 7, 2016

Trials of an Out-of-State Student

By Noelle Jacobs

I’m still not sure why I wanted to go to school so far away from home. I reflect on it a lot and struggle to land on anything concrete that urged me to apply to schools on the other side of the country. I didn’t hate where I lived, I actually loved it. I wasn’t tired of my family. I wasn’t hungry for adventure. I was just urged. I can’t explain it, but it seemed like it made perfect sense to apply to schools in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and Ohio. When I made my decision to come to Dayton, I still wasn’t really bothered or extensively reflective on the choice to go to a school 3,000 miles from home. Of course, the decision started to bother me very quickly with homesickness creeping its way in my freshman year. But, after going through move-ins and move-outs and storage units and numerous long flights, it became about more than just the homesickness.

Being an out-of-state student kind of sucks. Throughout my whole freshman year, it became clear to me very quickly that I would constantly have to rely on people. I’m not an overly independent person, nor am I afraid to ask for help, but to feel like you are always being a burden to people never really gets easier. From quick stops at stores by friends’ parents for something I really needed and rides to the airport, to storing half of my stuff at my friend’s house over the summer, there was always something that I felt like I needed to ask someone for help with. The beginning of the year and the end of the year are the worst times for this. Logistics for getting all of my stuff to and from wherever it’s scattered at is so stressful especially when my parents can’t just come to help me.

Not to mention the flights. Airfare is expensive, so going home for every break isn’t an option. Of course, it’s gotten easier to be here for breaks because of friends that are also on campus or other events, but when I have those hard weeks that make me just want to go home for a couple of days, I can’t just drive home. And just flying home, in general, is annoying. Because my flights are almost always late at night or the day following the end of classes, I have to ask someone to let me crash at their place and give me a ride.

Don’t get me wrong, I have never seriously questioned my decision to come to UD because of these things. On the contrary, I think that coming here has been one of the best decisions I have ever made and I’ve had amazing experiences and doors opened to me. Being an out-of-state student is just hard, but I am so blessed to have met people here that are so willing to give up their time to help me and the community here at UD is so strong that I do genuinely feel like there’s always someone that is there to help me in any way they can. And the thing is that even though it’s stressful beyond words and sometimes it’s easy to say that you could have gone to a school closer to home, it is an adventure. Even though I wasn’t hungry for it, as I said in the beginning, I feel that this has been one of the greatest adventures I have taken. Coming across the country for school has made me braver and stronger. That may sound stupid, but it took me a lot, and still takes a lot, for me to make this work from so far from home, but I can’t really regret any of it when I’ve had such an amazing time regardless of the stresses.

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