Coping while home away from home

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All joking (or not) aside, I miss my cat. And my dog. And my parents. Every day.

…and I’m a senior.

So it’s easy to understand that the transition from high school to college is exciting, but, nonetheless, comes with the baggage of homesickness, overwhelming anxiety and the perpetual need for a hot cup of herbal tea (or a cold beer).

“I would say the hardest thing for me was to make sure I was not quiet and to break out of my shell. I coped with this by forcing my self to join clubs that I was interested in and making sure I did not say ‘no’ when people invited me out,” said Crescent Gallagher, a recent graduate from OU.

As difficult as it may seem, getting involved is crucial to a fulfilling college experience. The benefits are endless- making friends, making an impact and even having a nice addition to your ever-growing resume. Even if you’re awkwardly shy when meeting people (cough, cough, ME), it’s more worth it to stand in a crowd of friends then sit in a corner… alone. (Side note: By this, I don’t mean walk down Stewart Street in packs of 20 on the weekends).

Another issue with “The Big Transition” is maintaining friendships at home.

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Megan and her friends at their annual “Christmas Movie Marathon/Secret Dreidel” (one of their friend’s is Jewish so it’s Secret Dreidel instead of Secret Santa, of course). Photo courtesy of Megan Fitzgerald.

“[I missed] All my friends from home! Believe it or not, I have 15 best friends from home and we’re together basically every day when we’re home
We have a GroupMe group that we use basically every day, and we each send an email every Sunday to everyone just telling about our week. It’s cheesy but still the greatest thing ever,” said Megan Fitzgerald, a junior studying Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Keeping up with friendships may seem like a difficult feat but, despite busy schedules, there are a number of ways to get a hold of your best friend at home and talk about the season finale of “Breaking Bad.”

Finally, what may seem like one of the toughest transitions from high school to college is succeeding academically.

According to an article provided by the University of Maryland, “Take an active role in your education. In high school 80% of your academic life was controlled by your teacher. In college 80% of your academic life will be controlled by you!”

Which brings me to my most imperative point: GO TO CLASS. I know it’s tough when you don’t have your mom screaming your at you to get out of bed, or that you don’t want to walk in the rain and run the risk of getting your shoes wet, but it’s one of the most crucial aspects of college and, in general, LIFE. The self-reliance of college is a daunting reality faced by all students at some point, but succeeding becomes easier as you begin to take advantage your courses and extra-curriculars, in addition to making connections with professors and others within the business world.

Sometimes it’s difficult to get past the ever-growing uncertainty regarding your newfound independence, the shift from being the epitome of your high school class to (borderline) social outcast and the admittedly embarrassing need for your parents, but it gets easier. From making new friends to the first time you go out on Wednesday for $5 liquor pitchers at Lucky’s, Athens will soon enough become your home away from home.

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