8 Fears Your Students May Have About Attending an Out-of-State School (and How to Help Them Deal with Them)

There are many great Colleges around the country and many students have that itch to spread their wings and attend school out-of-state. Her Campus posted 8 things they might be concerned about that might keep them from pursuing an education at an out-of-state school and some tips you can give them to face those fears:

  1. They won’t know anyone else:

The idea of your student being completely on their own thousands of miles away from friends and family is a bit of a shock to the system, but it might turn out to be one of the best things ever.

First of all, your students get a completely clean slate. It’s a great opportunity to start fresh and rid themselves of any stereotypes from high school.

If they want to make sure that they know at least a couple people when the first day rolls around, they should try to make friends with people at orientation. Although some people might try to play it cool, most freshmen have the same fear of not knowing anyone right off the bat. When they meet someone new or talk to someone that they could see hanging out with, they should not be afraid to ask to exchange numbers – or even Snapchats. What better way to become friends with someone than by exchanging the occasional puppy filter?

It’s also be a good idea to look into the programs or clubs that their future school has. Usually during the first few weeks of classes, there are interest meetings for freshmen to attend. Joining a club with other people who share your interests is the perfect way to bond.

The fact that they don’t know anyone means that they have plenty of room for everyone they meet to potentially become their new friend.

2. This is the first time that your student will be away from their family

Sure, they may have gone with their friends on spring break or a summer program for a few weeks, but potentially spending an entire semester away from their family can be tough. It may be hard to believe that they are going to miss things like their parents randomly coming into their room (and not closing the door) or having to be their sibling’s personal driver, but they will be fine.

Living far from home might also mean that they have to do things like make their own appointments, pay their own bills and take care of other things that their parents usually take care of. No one leaves home completely ready to enter the adult world, but after they successfully make their first doctors appointment they will totally embrace your their Olivia Pope and start handling things on your own left and right.

At first, it can be hard to say goodbye to those who know them best, but being on their own will encourage them to move towards being more independent.

It’s going to take some getting used to, but there are plenty of ways to make sure they feel as close to home as possible. Maybe they can plan a weekly Skype date with their mom or kindly ask their sister to unblock you on Instagram so that they can see what she’s up to (and promise not to snitch). Also, the more they get out of their dorm room and get involved on campus, the less they’ll notice the absence of their family.

3. It will be hard to adjust to the weather

If they are moving one or two states over, they probably won’t experience that much of a weather change. But, if they’re looking to move to a completely different coast, they’re in for a whole new world (or at least a whole new part of the country). It’s probably a good idea to do research and find out the general temperatures for each season, so they are not left out in the rain — literally. Fortunately, moving to a different place is definitely a reason for going on a shopping spree, or at least adding a few staple items to their wardrobe, which is never a bad thing.

In terms of knowing what to actually wear on a particular day, watching the weather or checking the weather app on their phone is definitely never a bad idea.

Depending on whether they are moving from a warmer climate to a cooler climate (or vice versa), there are adjustments that they can make in their dorm room that will make them feel more at home. If they are used to cooler temperatures where they are from, make sure to bring a fan so that they stay cool regardless of the toasty temperatures outside.

For those used to warmer temperatures, making the move to a cold environment can be a bit of a shock to the system. It’s probably a good idea to invest in a space heater, just in case their roommate isn’t thrilled about the idea of turning the entire room into a personal sauna, just make sure their dorm allows it. It also wouldn’t hurt to bring along a few blankets that can be their source of warmth day or night.

It might take a few weeks (or months) to better adjust to the out of state weather, but they will become a master of multiple climates — which is something not many people can say.

4. It will be too expensive to visit home

If they are looking forward to moving far from home, it more than likely won’t be an issue if they can’t go home every single weekend. However, there will probably be some moments throughout the semester when they will want to go home, but might not be able to because of the quick turnaround time.

Thanksgiving is a prime example of this. It’s a major holiday that they, of course, want to spend with your family, but it might be a bit costly to go home when Christmas break is right around the corner. Some out of state collegiettes opt to stay on campus during the break but still make the most of it.

They can also consider getting a part-time job to help pay for their plane or bus tickets home. Their parents want them to be able to come home for breaks and they will really appreciate it if they see you are trying to step up and help out.

5. They will always feel homesick

This fear is pretty common for almost everyone. It’s not easy to go from seeing your parents and siblings at home everyday to maybe seeing them for a few weeks every couple of months. Feeling homesick isn’t something that is going to go away all at once, but as they settle into college life they will notice it a little less.

Some of the best ways to deal with homesickness include surrounding themselves with new friends, finding a club or organization that they are passionate about and making the most of getting to know their new state. The more they can keep their mind on their new experiences, the easier it will be.

Even though it will be a little tough at first, they will more than likely be thankful that they took the plunge. Of course, where their family is will always be home, but who says that their second home can’t be just as great?

6. Their friends at home will forget about them

It can be hard to be the only one from their friend group going away for college, but they shouldn’t let that keep them from going. Their best friends want the best for them even if that means that they will be away from them. Just because staying in state is a good fit for some of your friends, it doesn’t mean that it’s the best option for them. Even though they can’t be there in person, don’t forget that they are just a phone call or text away. Group messages are a super easy way to make sure that they and their home squad keep in touch throughout the semester. Before they leave home for their first semester, make sure to grab your favorite pictures of them and their friends to decorate their room. Not only will it make their room feel more like home, but it’s a great daily reminder of the awesome memories they share with their friends at home.

Before they come home, they should make sure to schedule a few days where they and their besties can meet up without other family obligations getting in the way. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder and plus, they will have tons of cool, never before heard stories to share with your BFFs.

Sure they are going to miss being a locker away from their BFF or being able to drive to their friend’s house after class, but as cliché as it sounds they will find a new squad once they get to college.

7. Tuition will be very expensive

Why students are punished for choosing to go to a school other than where they live, we have no idea. The best advice we can give for this one is scholarships, scholarships and oh, did we mention scholarships?

From describing their dream ice cream flavor to writing an essay about how expensive college can be, there are so many opportunities for scholarship money out there — not to mention the scholarship money that they can get from their actual school. It’s never too late to start applying.

8. They will miss their pet

Okay, they can put on a brave face and say that they are not going to miss their parents or siblings, but they can’t tell us that they are totally fine with leaving their pet behind? While bringing their pet to college with them is a possibility, there are definitely pros and cons to this.

If they are missing their pet at school, they can always ask one of their parents to put them on Skype or FaceTime — they’ll probably be happy to see their face too. It might also help to see if their family could give them updates, even a random story could make their day. Keeping lots of pictures of their pet around their room is also a great way to feel a little more connected to their pet while they are away.

Going to school out of state is easier said than done, but they should not let their fears prevent them from potentially awesome opportunities. Embracing the challenge will only make them a more independent, well-rounded collegiette.

This was written by Briana Trusty. She realizes that her last name is Trusty and does that make her trusty? Yes, yes it does. She cares way more about the goings on of Kylie Jenner, One Direction, and the rest of the celebrity population way more than the average person should. So as opposed to becoming a professional paparazzo, she does this while she studies Broadcast Journalism at the University of South Carolina. You can find her on Instagram @briballerina or @verytrustysource.

Here is a link to her original story on Her Campus – https://www.hercampus.com/high-school/8-fears-you-have-about-choosing-out-state-school-how-deal