Moving to College: How I coped with the unexpected

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Sydnie Ho
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“Moving away is easy,” everyone said. I was told that a lot before I moved away for college, but it definitely was not true for me. As I began my college journey, I moved from Colorado to Arizona – a short yet drastic move. I had this fantasy that going to college out of state would be amazing. I would be able to get out of the cold, away from my parents, make a fresh start. Little did I know, it was not what I was expecting. I missed my state, I missed my family, I missed my friends, I missed so much about home I thought of transferring schools completely. This is what they don’t tell you about moving away from home and how I got through it.

A fresh start

There is something about college that you don’t know about until you actually experience it. It’s a fresh start from your old life, whether you want it to be or not. Moving to a different state was hard for me. Colorado and Arizona are different in climate, landscape, air, really everything. I didn’t realize how much I took for granted until I was actually away from home. 

While I used to hop in a car and drive to the mountains with friends, here I didn’t even have a car at college to go anywhere. While I used to wake up every morning to the mountainous horizon, here all I saw were red rocks and cactus. Everything wasn’t bad, it was just different. I wasn’t used to any of it. I had to learn to focus on what was there and not what wasn’t. 

A new support system

Another big thing I struggled with was leaving all the people behind. The support system I had been building up for the past 18 years was now miles away and I had to start over. The thought of this was terrifying, and when things weren’t clicking into place it was hard to believe that things were going to be good in Arizona. I questioned if I had chosen the right school, if I was doing the right thing, everything. I had to continue to push through and slowly I was able to build a new support system.

Change takes time

Though the first few months were hard, everything eventually started to fall into place and through all of it, I was able to learn a lot. I learned to value the things I have while I have them. I learned to cherish every moment with the people I love. I also learned that change takes time and adapting doesn’t happen overnight. Things will work out, even if you do end up transferring to a different school, things will work out. It just takes time. 

Through all of this I learned a lot about myself and this journey we call life. College is truly amazing, and I wouldn’t change my experience for the world. While at first I couldn’t, I can now wholeheartedly say I love college and where I’m at and I hope you will too!


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