Most high school students dream of being on their own, being able to make their own decisions and go wherever they please. Going away to college affords them that opportunity, but in reality, it is much more than that.
Attending college away from home poses an opportunity to explore a different geographic area and meet people with different customs, foods and culture.
Attending Baylor being from Miami was a complete culture shock because the people were completely different. I was not used to the southern hospitality and not giving people kisses on the cheek when I greeted them. I was not used to the having the ability to talk about religion with such ease. I was not used to the abundance of barbecue in Texas, and I had no idea what Tex-Mex meant.
Although there were many differences in culture and in food, these differences were enjoyable to experience. However, the hardest transition was definitely becoming a very independent individual.
Being an out-of-state student in college prepares you for a completely independent life. Going to an in-state school leaves you with the opportunity to be able to go home on weekends and know that your parents are only a couple hours away. On the other hand, when you are 1,000 miles away from home you can rarely come home on the weekends, and your parents are never a couple hours away. Therefore, there is no sense of security that if something goes wrong, your parents are there. Although this sounds upsetting, it prepares you for adulthood because it teaches you to be completely independent.
You can’t go home on the weekends for mom to do your laundry. You cant drive home when you’re feeling homesick or when you want to eat a home-cooked meal. Therefore, you not only need to learn the practical things such as doing your own laundry and cooking your favorite meals, but you also need to know how to deal with your feelings of homesickness, which by far is that hardest part. As someone who gets homesick often, I had to find that one thing that made things better. I found that in my sorority and in the Lariat.
Being a part of an organization has helped me find my home because the women of my sorority and my co-workers at the Lariat have become my family. With them and in these organizations is where I have found my home away from home.