When it is time to leave for college, one of the hardest things to do is say “goodbye” to your family, friends, your pets, even your bedroom! It can be even harder if you are going to college out of state where a weekend home is not exactly a viable option.
For many college kids, leaving for college may not seem like such a big deal when it is still months, weeks, or even days away. However, in reality, it won’t hit most college kids until it is the day that you actually start packing. As you begin to pack away your clothes, your pillows and blankets, games and DVDs, and other personal items that made your room yours, it makes a lot of college kids start to feel sad and nervous about the situation. And that is just your bedroom. You still have all of the people in your life to say “goodbye” to. How do you do it? How do you cope with all of those emotions you are probably feeling?
Have One Last Outing With Your Friends: Do yourself a favor and don’t wait to do all your packing the day before you leave. That way you can spend your last day in your hometown with your friends doing whatever it is you all love doing. Most importantly, don’t focus on it being your last day, otherwise that is all you and your friends will find yourselves focusing on and it won’t feel as genuine as it usually does hanging out with them. Focus on spending another great day with your friends. It isn’t time to say goodbye until the end of the day when you have to go home.
Guys, It Is Okay to Cry: Okay guys, I was a tough 18-year old guy leaving for college at one time too, so I get it. You have this masculine principle that “Guys Don’t Cry” to uphold. Well, from one guy to another, what if I told you that it is okay to cry? I’m not afraid to admit that the day my best friend and I had to say “goodbye,” he and I both cried. It is natural to be going through dozens of emotions, and you would be amazed how crying actually helps to convey these pent up feelings. Because before you know it, you and your friends will have cried yourselves into smiling and joking about the situation, and it makes it that much easier to deal with the circumstances. Guaranteed.
Don’t Say “Goodbye”: This is something I found myself doing after my freshman year of college when it was time for me to go home for the summer. Instead of saying “goodbye” to all my friends, I simply said “I’ll see you later” or “I’ll see you soon.” Sometimes “goodbye” just sounds too gloomy and melancholic, but saying “I’ll see you later” is somewhat of a casual promise that you will see each other again soon.
Do Not Go Home the First Weekend: This is touched upon in The Freshmen Survival Guide and it is a point that I completely agree with 100%. You may be feeling lonely and/or homesick throughout your first week of college (which are completely normal feelings to be experiencing, by the way.) Nevertheless, resist the temptation to go home during that first weekend. While it may help to alleviate some of those feelings for the duration of the weekend, it will make returning to your dorm on Sunday night even harder. Instead, stay on-campus, find some programs or activities that your school is putting on, and go to them! There is always something going on during the first weekend. This is your chance to try new things and make new friends! In turn, it will help to make college your home away from home.
“Goodbyes” are never easy, and even though you will be sad, nervous, and afraid to leave your home, family, and friends behind, just know that college is going to be one of the best experiences of your life. And even though you may be on a completely separate path in life then your friends back home does not mean they still won’t be your friends when you all come home over Winter and Summer Break. After all, truly great friends are always difficult to leave and impossible to forget.