Don’t know your new state too well? Overwhelmed with a sense of culture shock? As an out-of-state student myself, I found it quite challenging to get used to my new life in a state I was unfamiliar with. Not only did I not know anyone at my university, but I had no idea how I could ever call Tampa, Florida home. I have found that these four ways have helped me change that perspective!
1—Get a Sense of the Culture.
One of the easiest ways to get to know your town a little better is by visiting museums and learning more about what makes it unique! Does your town have a quirky, modern art scene, or does it have more of a laid back country feel? Does it have a fascinating history? Travel guides are an awesome way to educate yourself about your surroundings! Nothing makes you feel more connected to a town than by learning more about its background.
2—Explore Yummy Food Spots.
When it doubt, grub! If you’re feeling homesick and are craving some food from your hometown, try finding a place that serves that cuisine. Not used to the food culture of your town? Take a risk and try something new! Create a tradition among your friends by finding an amazing restaurant that you can make your go-to spot, and don’t forget to snap a pic of all the great looking food to show your family back at home!
3—Find the Hidden Gems.
Want to feel like a local? Hang with the locals! Talk to students who are from the town and find out if they have any hidden spots that only locals really know about. This could be a restaurant, nature trail, or even a simple hang-out area. It is always much more fulfilling to live like a local than constantly doing the main attractions. To make things interactive, create a travel journal and write about all of the amazing discoveries you made!
4—Get Involved On Campus.
Getting involved on campus not only allows you to make connections with people on campus, but it also creates a sense of community. Often times you can find another out-of-state student who is going through your same situation. Being away from home is sometimes tough, and homesickness can shine a negative light on your new home. Having an amazing support system that will be there when you’re far away from your family allows you to feel like you’ve created a home away from home and brings positive energy into your life.
By doing all of these things, I have found myself falling in love with a place I can gladly call a second home––Tampa. I’ve discovered so many beautiful things about a town that I thought I would have no interest in.
What have been your experiences as an out-of-state student? Let me know in the comments below!