A New State, a New Start

For those of you coming from out of state, you might have many concerns as to if Benedictine University is the right choice for you. Perhaps you have narrowed down your choices, and are leaning towards Benedictine, but the out-of-state factor is holding you back from making your final decision. Maybe you have doubts as to whether or not you could handle the distance from home. You might even feel just the opposite, and know that you would like to get a fresh start far from home. Whatever your feelings happen to be in regards to going out of state, my goal is to give you an accurate description of what this experience entails.

Packing for living out of state

Since you won’t be able to visit the store as often as you were when home, it’s a good thing to pack accordingly. This means, if you are a picky eater, be sure to bring an abundant supply of snacks. Try to think of any little things that are important to you that you’d be disappointed if you forgot . For example, for me I discovered that I had forgotten the fact that I might want lots of my favorite teas (I’m a tea addict) and some type of air-freshener.

Transportation 

As I mentioned in my bio, I am from Michigan (Grand Rapids area), which is about a 3 to 3.5 hour drive. So when it comes to getting home and back, and since I don’t have a car at school with me,  it was important for me to explore the different transportation options. One option, of course, is catching a ride with your parents, other family member, or friends. However, when this isn’t possible, the train is another possibility. Luckily, there is a train station right here in Lisle and Naperville. Otherwise there are two train stations in Chicago; Union and Ogilvie. You can buy the tickets online for these train stations. I recommend planning ahead and buying them early just so you don’t get stuck having to buy a ticket for a time you don’t want.

Besides the train station, you can also look into purchasing a bus ticket as well if that works for you. I have never explored this option yet, but I do have a few friends who have tried it out and have enjoyed it.

Of course, if you are much farther out of state, there are  airport is not far and it really of your convenience. The two major airports nearby are O’Hare and Midway. If you don’t happen to make friends who own a car, or if they are unable to drive you to the airport, a taxi can be your last resort, but I am quite confident you will be able to find a ride.

Homesickness

Although I personally am not one to get homesick when I’m far from home, I know that this is not the case for everyone. Some people I’ve met, actually, are at first excited and don’t anticipate being homesick, but then are very shocked when they to find out that they are extremely homesick later on. If you are one of these people, I just want to point out that it really is not as bad as you might imagine when you consider how you can stay in contact with your friends and family. You will most likely come to college with a cellphone and be able to call home as often as you’d like. Even if you don’t have a cellphone, I can highly guarantee that someone in your dorm will be more than willing to let you burrow theirs. Skype is another great option! Also, you’ll have two major breaks-winter & spring, to be with your family.Your winter break will be 4 week, and your spring break will be 1. Depending on how far out of state, you may even have more opportunities to visit home.

Maybe one detail to consider that might help those of you that worry about homesick is your room decorations. It may sound silly, but bringing a lot of decorations from home, and especially your room, can really help you feel at home and less like you are living in a strange, new place.

Be Open-Minded

If you are really looking into going out of state, it’s very important to be open-minded. First and foremost, you have to accept that your life will not be the same as when you were living at home. College is a new experience in general, but being out of state is a whole different level of new. You are no longer, in most cases, able to go home whenever you might want to. You might also lose certain things you might have had back home, such as easy access to a beach. However, the fun part is all the new things you get to experience, such as Chicago. It really largely depends on your personality and if you are open to change. Change can truly be a great time to grow as an individual. The great part about Benedictine is that even though it will be a bigger change for those of you out of state, the tight-knit community will still provide you with a homey feeling!

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