Reflections on my first year away from home


May 23, 2022

Hello!! Sorry for my hiatus over the past few weeks, I was finishing up finals and I wasn’t able to write blog posts during those few weeks. But, I am back now and I’m resting at home after an amazing first year away!

It’s been a big year! Even though I just finished my sophomore year, it was my first year living away from home as my entire freshmen year was online because of covid. Not to sound cheesy, but I had the most amazing time and wanted to share a few reflections/lessons I’ve learned this year.

Homesickness is the worst, but you can get over it

When I first moved away, I felt so homesick and it was the worst. I’ll probably write an in-depth blog post about this, but I think as I grew more comfortable in Georgetown it started to feel more like home and the people around me started to feel like family, which is when I stopped feeling homesick. It’s the kind of thing that takes time to get over, and it’s something you have to go through to come out stronger on the other side. I like to make a game plan when I’m faced with an obstacle to overcome, so not knowing when I would stop feeling like this was hard. But from experience, I can tell you that it does get better with time so I hope that helps!

Being an adult is a jump in responsibility

One of the things that I found so shocking at first was all of the adult admin bits that I had to take on when I moved to college. Opening bank accounts, paying my taxes, doing laundry, deep cleaning my room every week, making sure I had enough food for meals, taking care of myself when I got sick, and paying my phone bill, were all things that I had taken for granted when I lived at home. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about doing these things, it’s just that I didn’t realize how much time and planning it takes to tick all the admin things off your to-do list. I feel like I continually have a long to-do list of life tasks that I can never quite finish. I thought it was a big jump to move to college and live away from home for the first time and focus on the more challenging academics as well as focus on these other admin bits.

Just because you’re not studying, doesn’t mean you’re not being productive

This one leads off the last point, but one thing I struggled with at the beginning (and honestly still struggle with sometimes) is realizing that just because I’m not currently working or in class or completing an assignment, it does not mean that I’m not being productive. I think it’s about that jump in being an adult, but back in high school I only had to focus on school work because at home you don’t have those same responsibilities, so I felt productive when I was studying or at school. It took me a while to realize that at college, taking a walk or a run for my mental health, taking a break to eat a nice lunch, or doing my laundry is just as productive as sitting in my room and studying – it’s about balance. College is meant to prepare you for the real world, and I think this has been the biggest preparation lesson so far, knowing that work productivity is not the end all and be all, but that there are lots of meaningful ways to spend my time.

Get off campus once in a while

This is one thing I learned the hard way, but you have to escape the college bubble once in a while (or at least I had to). It’s a lot to live, socialize, work, and study in the same place, especially if your campus is not that big. I realized that I had to start leaving campus once in a while even if it was just for a walk or to grab some food; the change of scenery and just the change in who you’re around is like a breath of fresh air you need every so often.

Find your own family at college

One thing that really helped me grow out of the homesickness was finding those friends and those groups that feel like family. Finding those people you know you can rely on and who you can see every day makes college feel like home. I lived in a dorm this year, and next year I’m going to be living in an apartment with friends. But I’ll miss going down the hall or a few floors down to visit a friend or bumping into people on my way in and out of the building. It’s those connections that make college exciting and different from just being in school again for four more years!

Appreciate the little things

When you’re at college it can seem like there’s a never ending stream of work and assignments and presentations. Yes, there are a couple of breaks and long weekends sprinkled in there, but the reality is that you’re always preparing for some kind of assessment or activity. One thing that I’ve learned to do is to appreciate or look forward to the little things. Things like a week where I don’t have an assignment due, or simply just that the sun is out and I can go for a nice walk, or the fact that I’ll order takeout with my roommate this weekend and watch a movie. Big semester breaks aren’t the only thing to look forward to, you can find moments to breathe and little relaxing breaks when you appreciate the little things or plan small moments to look forward to. I remember back in January I was interviewing for a job on a Friday and I spent the whole day in different interviews and I was really tired by the end of it. Even though I knew I still had lots of work to get done that weekend and catch up on, my friends and I went ice skating that evening while it was snowing; it was a nice little break to take a step back and forget about studying for a night before getting back into it.

This year was such a learning experience. I think I experienced some of the lowest lows but the best high points of my life so far. It’s weird because a year ago I hadn’t been to Georgetown or met my closest friends, and now I can’t imagine myself without them. I know that I still have a lot to continue to learn, and I will share all of that journey on this blog. I’ll do a few more reflection and advice posts about this year on here, so make sure you’re subscribed to my newsletter via this link!

See you next week,

  1. […] case you wanted to take a look, I also dug up my end of year reflection posts from my freshmen and sophomore […]

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