The emotions of leaving for college

By Maddie Toole – 

There are tons of articles on the internet that claim to have the secret speech to tell your child as they leave for college for the first time. There are hundreds of lists prepared to make certain you do not forget the ‘most important’ items to take along with you to college. I have even seen several articles dedicated to comforting weepy mothers and fathers and ensuring that they have prepared their children fully. However, I have never seen any type of article that tells a college kid how to feel when they go off for college.
In order to get a good idea about how college freshmen feel before and after they get to campus, I have polled a few of my new college friends, all freshmen that are newly living away from home, just as I am. They gave me a few different answers, including: excited, curious, prepared, unprepared, and even worried. I can relate to all of these in some form or another.
Before I left for college, I was excited to do something new and gain some unique experiences. When I landed on campus, I was curious to meet my roommate and all of the people I would be living with for the next school year. As my parents prepared to leave, I panicked just a little, or more than a little, that my main and most important support system would no longer be just downstairs every time I needed advice. When Welcome Weekend ceremonies commenced, I began to feel the pressure to make as many friends as I could and to join several organizations that matched my interests.
I have been at Miami University now for almost three weeks and I am already loving my new life here. I am so happy and comfortable to be in a place where I can become someone that I have always wanted to be: a newer and smarter version of myself. The bundle of emotions that I have experienced because I had to leave my family and my friends is crazy and has been tough at times, but I have warmed up to the idea of creating a life here.
I also asked my new-found freshmen friends if they felt accomplished to be going to college and living on their own. They all agreed that being at college made them feel successful, like everything they had done up to this point in their lives was of importance. I asked them this because it is exactly how I feel.
Moving into college has been truly exciting and terrifying all at once. But if there is one thing that I have felt as I have been living here, it is accomplishment. There have been several tiny revelations and “I can do it!” moments like when I did my laundry for the first time, when I met a new friend that I instantly clicked with, and every time I remind myself to eat something green at the cafeteria. College is already showing me that I can do a lot of things, and I can do them on my own.