One of my main priorities in choosing a college was getting as far away from my home state as I could. To be frank, I still don’t regret being a three-hour plane ride away from home. It was a peculiar time of transition when I realized the power of starting over somewhere new. I compiled a few of my own experiences with some aspects of being away from home that may come into play during your experience being far from home.
The moving process is something I want to note for those who do live far away, because it can be pretty hard. Packing your whole life into an airplane-friendly suitcase is drastically different from cramming ten boxes in a car to drive to your dorm. Worthmore has all the lamps/hangers/trash cans one would need, so that does lessen the burden of stuff to bring. Not only does Worthmore have a lot of value for students who live far away, but is the savior of moving out. I collected an enormous amount of stuff through the year, and I donated most of it to Worthmore when moving out.
Reminding myself to call my parents was so important. I usually ended up calling on Sundays, but it was a consistent activity I did try and keep up. It was really grounding every time I called my parents or a friend from home, to remind myself of the outside world a bit. There’s so much value in giving yourself breaks from college life, even if the call is to talk about that life.
I ended up spending Thanksgiving break (which is about a five-day break including weekends) at Swarthmore! My friends and I cooked a meal with groceries from the Co-Op and had our own Thanksgiving in the Willets basement kitchen. If you’re staying for Thanksgiving and want to cook, make sure you reserve a kitchen online. I also spent the weekend in New York City (a two-hour bus ride away) with my older sister! I stayed at Swarthmore for spring break as well, and went to the beach with some friends (that was only a three-hour bus ride away), and then went to a three-day, all-expenses-paid Atlanta Climate Change Conference sponsored by Swarthmore’s Lang Center and Sustainability program. There are a lot of opportunities to take advantage of if you do end up staying at Swarthmore over break!
I will probably always be in love with the exhilaration of discovering new places, and that makes many of the harder aspects of being away from home worth it.