The Art of Adjustment

When I told people I was going all the way to Alabama for college, quite a few of them looked at me like I was crazy.

“Why are you going so far from home?”

“You’re going to miss home and want to come back after a week or two.”

“You’re so brave for going far away without knowing anyone! I could never do that.”

Honestly, I think they are the crazy ones.

I’ve been here for a little over two weeks, and I have absolutely no desire to return to New Hampshire.  Nor do I think I ever will while I’m living here in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  It’s all just a new adventure to me.  What those other people see as something that puts them outside their comfort zone, I see as opportunity.  Life is boring if you don’t embrace change and challenge yourself constantly.

However, not everyone is the same.  A lot of people are not the breakaway type, and tend to get very homesick whenever they go far.  Therefore, it’s harder for them to adjust, especially with the transition to college life.  So how does one get over their homesickness, or just simply adjust to life in their new home on campus?

There’s plenty of ways.  It’s really just so easy.

Get out of your room.  Go meet people.  College is just one big social scene, with everyone on campus basically within walking distance of one another.  No more being stuck in your house in the suburbs, unable to go anywhere because you have no car and all your friends are a town or two away.  Staying in your room will probably get old fast anyways.  You’re almost guaranteed to meet someone the second you walk out of your dorm.  Don’t be afraid to just say hi to random people…believe me, I’ve made many friends here by doing just that.

Take advantage of all the school events, too.  Whether it be a sports game, a study group, a “Welcome Week” scavenger hunt, or any kind of party, it’s a new opportunity to meet new people and have fun.

I always bring the world with me wherever I go, whether it be in New Hampshire or here in my dorm.

Familiarize yourself with the town.  Personalize your space.  It’s often the little things that get some people really homesick.  Like how well they know their hometown and not the new one they’re in, their best friends back home, little details in their daily routine.  So go out, explore your campus.  Get lost and find those little hidden niches that become the perfect, quiet spot to study.  Find the best restaurants or bars or any random places that you come to love and make you love the place.

Bring pictures and memories with you to add to your dorm, and keep in touch with your friends back home while you go out and make new ones.  Decorate your room with your favorite things.  For me, all I needed was my world map, some postcards, and my laptop so that I can Skype with friends back home.  Technology makes it possible to stay friends with people no matter where and how far you go.

The beautiful Quad on campus.

So don’t be afraid to break away from the pack.  Even if you are one of those easily homesick, attached kind of people, take a chance and don’t regret it.  Life is too short to live it in fear.  As Mark Twain said:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Explore.  Dream.  Discover.” 🙂

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8 thoughts on “The Art of Adjustment

  1. I love following your blog Anne. You are going to do great things in life and will probably see the world doing it. I’m so proud of you. Always follow your dreams!!

  2. Pingback: 2012: A Year of Change & Mind-Blowing Epiphanies | Memoirs of an Adventurer

  3. I had a rather hard time conhsiog just one type of physician I would want to work for. So many of them fascinate me, and with me not really going into any medical field other than support, I never gave this any thought in the past. After reading the list, I am more favorable of working for a neonatologist. It is difficult to think about how neonatologist physicians sometimes have the most difficult job in the world, but I can only imagine how amazing it would be to be a part of saving a baby’s life. I had a coworker once whose baby was born at 36 weeks, and her baby had a lot of heart and lung problems. There were concerns about whether or not they would ever fully develop once she had him, but after many months in the NICU, and many scares that happened during it, the doctors were able to save him and he is now a very healthy 5 year old. It is because of that I have a higher interest in the neonatologist field.I hate to say which type of physician I would care less to work for, and it is because I worry that many will take it the wrong way. When I was 16, I used to help my mom at an assisted living home as a caregiver. We would get to work at 7:00 A.M. every morning to prepare breakfast for four of the elderly men and women that we were caring for. We would then make sure that all bedding was changed, rooms were cleaned, meals were prepared, and appointments were handled. We worked 12 hour days, and they were always grueling. The owner of the home made sure that everyone had their medicine and made it to their doctor appointments on time. However, she was more worried about getting paid for her services than actually helping the elderly. She would yell at them if they did something wrong, and even call them terrible names. My mom reported her and we both quit our job, but it has always left a sting in my heart since then. It is because of my experience with that situation that I do not think I could ever work for a gerontologist. I know that the situations would be much different, but ever since my experience with caring for elderly individuals it is very hard for me to think about assisting a physician in geriatrics because I worry that someone else might treat the elderly in the same way the owner of the home did. I am a firm believer that the elderly deserve the ultimate care and comfort when going through any treatment and aging in general, but I do not think I could ever work in that environment again.

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