Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Living Away From Home [Guest Post]

While I'm honeymooning in Europe, a few wonderful bloggers will be taking over my blog! I am so excited to be sharing these ladies with you! Like Rubi, I spent my first year of college away from home. These tips would have been super helpful.

Hello everyone! My name is Rubi and I write over at When Life Gives You Rubi. Since I am the definition of a confused twenty something my blog reflects my life, featuring posts on how to spend a Friday night alone, dating advice, an occasional rant and general content that will make any twenty something feel better about not knowing what they plan to do with the rest of their life.

With my recent move from California to Washington DC my blog has sadly been put on the backburner, but thankfully Raewyn was kind enough to let me guest post on her blog on a topic I can definitely relate to, feeling homesick while attending university.

I went to college four hundred miles away from home, a minimum eight hour drive, meaning I never went home on weekends and only on the occasional major holiday. As time went by I got more and more used to the idea that I just wasn’t going to spend Christmas or Thanksgiving with my mom, but dealing with being far from everything you’ve ever known isn’t as easy for everyone.

As a soon to be college grad, I’ve compiled some advice that helped me deal with spending holidays away from home, never having the pleasure of eating a home cooked meal on a bad day and having to create entire new friendships.

Join an Org ASAP
I wouldn’t have made all the amazing friends I’m graduating with today had I not gotten out of my comfort zone (aka my freshman dorm hall) and attended countless club meetings until I found the right one. Going to a university as large as mine meant it was difficult to make friends in class. Meeting people at org meetings meant there was already one interest we shared and the org usually set up socials to have members get to know one another better.

To the left are two of my closest friends, both of whom I would have never met had I not joined my org.

Bring Photos
Nothing is worse than coming home after a long day of classes to white concrete walls. Skip buying the traditional poster and instead print out some photos to remind you of home. They don’t have to be photos of friends or family either. Take a quick picture of the beach, you at your favorite park, anywhere that will remind you of home.

Teach Your Mom/Dad to Skype
I didn’t start Skyping with my mom until I left for Europe, but it’s definitely what kept her sane while I backpacked all by myself. Skype is a free way to stay in touch with those back home, whether they be siblings, parents or friends who go to a different school.

Constantly checking in with my mom was the only way to keep her sane while I backpacked. Here I am in Rome about to toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain...

Utilize Social Media
With social media being such a big part of our lives nowadays, it’s basically impossible to lose touch with anyone. Create a Facebook group with your close friends from back home, create a hashtag to share only with your friends so you can all keep up with one another’s lives and schedule Google Hangouts to fill one another in. Your first few months away from home will also show you who you will actually stay in touch with, and once you figure that out, go from there.

Plan Something
If you aren’t going home for a major holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas, skip staying home alone and plan something with other people who are staying in the area for the holiday too! Last Thanksgiving I cooked dinner for 20 strangers who didn’t have the money or a home to visit for the holiday, and it was definitely one of the best Thanksgivings I have ever had.

The Color Run and other races like it are a great way to bond with old and new friends. Plus the photos always come out amazing!

Disconnect at Home
When you do visit, unplug yourself from everything so you can fully enjoy your time there. A few days without Facebook or Twitter won't kill you, plus you’ll have way more time to focus on making plans with friends and catching up with you mom. It can be tempting to watch Netflix nonstop during winter break, but take advantage of your time home and do something you couldn’t do while at your university.

If you have any more suggestions I’d love to hear them! While I’m not as far as I was when I was travelling Europe, I still am on the complete opposite side of the country for the time being. The main way I dealt with homesickness was creating a new family of friends while in college and taking full advantage of the time when I was home. It gets easier with time until the point where your new city begins to feel more like home.

Thank you so much for taking over my blog as I'm gallivanting [and hopefully not freezing] in Europe!

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  1. I need to catch up on Raewyn's guest post. I'm definitely missing her. When are you coming back girl?

  2. I'm HEREEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!! :) also, on my to do list is "Write Laney a million letters" <3

  3. YAYEE!!! Sounds like a plan to me. tell me all about the wedding. I'm ready to see updates girl. Get started on them LOL :p

  4. hahaha, gotta save them for Wedding Wednesdays :P


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