5 Struggles That College Students Living Out of State Experience

Living far, far, away from family can seem like an enticing and somewhat dreamy concept for some students. Some seek that sense of adventure and exploration that traveling to a new state or part of the country permits. Other high school graduates just want to get as far from their families as humanly possible! Regardless, more often than not, this is never a smooth transition. For instance, what if you forgot to pack your favorite shirt? It could take days for one of your parents to ship it to you. Or, what if you come home during winter break and suddenly your room has been painted this odd shade of purple and is now your mom’s new “sewing room”? Even though these hypotheticals are seemingly non-threatening, they still have the tendency to occur. So other than the brutal expense of paying out of state tuition, what are the other struggles that college students living far from home experience? The following list will explain some happenings that you may not have considered yet.

1. It Costs a Pretty Penny

Where did all my money go? As a college student, I am constantly questioning my bank account. For out of state students, this could be even more apparent because the mammoth expense of out of state tuition can forever put a dampening on any future purchases. Students living far from home may have to be even more frugal when considering food and recreational purchases. Also, for students living closer to home, items left at home can be easily accessible by a car drive, but out of state students may find themselves purchasing extra equipment to make up for what they’ve left at home.

2. The Facetime Call Cuts Out… Again

“Mom! No, change it to the front-face camera so I can actually see you- now there isn’t any audio. What did you even do?!” Or, the struggle of long-distance communication. We all can’t survive only on family group chats. That’s like herding cattle. There’s something about physical, face-to-face conversation that can really make a difference. When half of the conversation is spent trying to adjust the audio of your laptop’s Skype or Facetime call, it’s really difficult to have a meaningful conversation with one or more of your family members or close friends back home. However, using communication methods through technology is absolutely necessary for out of state students who wish to keep in contact with their loved ones. So some out of state students just get really good at doing “air hugs” through a computer screen to their family members.

3. The Ol’ Remodel

The very first time I returned home from college, I came back to find the room I share with my younger sister to be totally transformed. I also had trouble finding any of my things. It turned out my sister had shoved all of my things under my bed, and now my shelves currently display her own items- picture frames and makeup bottles galore! I was pretty upset at first, but also pretty shocked that I didn’t think of this happening beforehand. As a college student, I am currently living this separate life that is almost completely unattached to my past life at home. So it would only make sense that my old side of the bedroom now looks like I don’t live in it anymore, right? Part of me wanted it to look exactly the same when I came home, but another part of me accepted the fact that my primary residence is no longer in my childhood home.

4. Forgetting to Pack That REALLY Important Pair of Jeans

You know the ones- the ones that make your butt look like a totally different butt, but in a good and flattering way? And then having to have your mom ship them all the way to you and that could take days. Many transportation and distance issues arise like this time when you’re an out of state student. Hauling everything you need to another state is gruesome! It’s incredibly important to pack light if you are taking a single trip drop-off, not to mention feeling the need to send a quick prayer that the trunk will stay closed while you’re on the freeway.

5. Do My Friends Remember Me?

It can be extremely difficult to come back after a long hiatus and try to delve back into old friendships. It’s a possibility that your old friends might seem like strangers to you after being apart for so long. Also, as you develop new friendships in your new life at college, it can be difficult to reconnect with those that you used to have such a strong bond with before. You might even find yourself missing the new friendships that you had some time to form in college during the reconnections with your old friends! It can be a mind-numbing experience, trying to figure out how your old friends now have seemingly different personalities.

More importantly- do my dogs still remember who I am? Whenever my dog sees me packing my duffel bag, she gets the sincerest look of disapproval I’ve ever seen. We leave lots of important people (and pets) behind when we venture off to our new collegiate experiences, and we often forget that there could be a certain furry friend waiting for us back home.

Is It Worth It?

So, with all of these hindrances that an out-of-state student has the potential to experience, why do some students still choose to live far from home? This is all based on preference, and many individuals find the outcome of living out-of-state outweigh the costs. If you are considering living far from home for college, it’s important to consider all of the possibilities that may be personal deal-breakers. It’s crucial to understand that the tuition expense is not the only major difference between living out-of-state and living in-state when you attend a university.