5 Realities of Going Out-of-State For College

January 21, 2016


There are tons of reasons to go out-of-state for college. Whether it’s to get away from home, you love the location of the school, or your dream college is far away, there are plenty of reasons to consider moving to a new state for your new adventure. However, heading out-of-state might bring with it a sort of culture shock, so here are a few things that you might come across in a new state:

Accents, accents, accents. Moving from one place to another can often bring changes that you might not expect. While you’re used to the way your friends, family, and neighbors speak, you’ll encounter people at college that have strong accents from all over. Since I’m from Georgia, when I first got to college in Indiana, I sounded so much different than everyone else. Even though you might feel like you stand out at first, differences like that can turn into an easy way to meet people. It’ll be one of those things that brings your friends closer together, so don’t be afraid to embrace your accent!

Everyone will mention places that you couldn’t point out on a map. If you’re going out-of-state, you probably won’t know a lot of people going to college with you. You also won’t be as familiar with your new home as those who have lived there for a long time. So while they’re talking about high schools and hometowns you know nothing about, it’s easy to feel left out. Odds are, though, that the biggest difference between their lives and yours is just the name of your town. Simply ask questions about where they’re from, tell them about your hometown, and try to relate the two of them. Before you realize it, you’ll know what people are talking about when they mention the small towns and local areas.

The weather may be a shock. It’s not uncommon to come across students who have never really experienced snow before - and I was one of them. Especially if you’re headed north for college, it’s not always easy to handle your first snow storm with grace. Sliding across ice, desperately clutching onto your bag trying to make it to class on time will certainly be a new experience - and not a fun one. After a few weeks, though, you’ll get accustomed to it. It’ll be easier to plan what to wear, when you can safely walk around, and how many times you’ll reasonably expect to slip and fall. Pro tip: if you’re headed to an entirely new climate, buy clothes once you get there, especially in the cold. The clothes are usually made differently, and will probably have better insulation and warmth.

Homesickness will hit you eventually. Whether it’s missing your parents, friends, sports teams, or having a Waffle House on every corner…you will get homesick. It’s not a completely crippling thing, though. Homesickness is surprisingly easy to shake as long as you’re trying new things. You’ll probably really feel homesick the first time you get the flu, since mom and dad aren’t around to take care of you, but you’ll feel like a real adult after you learn to take care of yourself (without any help). Even though there will be nothing you want more than to be home, you can move past it. Then, once you’re settled in and having fun, be sure to stay in touch with those you moved away from. It’ll help you to avoid being overwhelmed by everything that’s new.

College will cost you a lot more. Even if you’re in the first step of searching for colleges, you know that the out-of-state schools are much more expensive. That means you may have to cut back on the spending in college or work yourself ragged on scholarships. The good thing is, you’re not alone! College is expensive and students are mostly poor - it’s part of the experience. If you find yourself strapped for cash and living off of ramen noodles, joke about it with your friends. They’re in the same boat, and the ways you cut costs make great stories.

This post was written by one of our AdmitSee users, Charlotte, from Purdue ‘17. Are you looking to head out-of-state for college? Search for students like you and find out where they applied and how they got in. Talk to college mentors and get help with the application process. Want to be featured on our blog? Send an email to drew@admitsee.com for more information on how you can write for AdmitSee.

About The Author

AdmitSee Staff
AdmitSee Staff

​We remember our frustration with applying to college and the lack of information surrounding it. So we created AdmitSee to bring much-needed transparency to the application process! Read more about the team here.

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