November 19, 2014
By: Alex Corsi @acorsi17
College is a big adjustment. Living over 500 miles away from your family is an even bigger adjustment. I was born and raised in Connecticut, and Ohio is definitely different to say the least.
But where do I call home? I have never felt so out of place, which is why at 19 years old, I am now questioning everything I ever knew when I feel like I should already have my life figured out. However, after a year at OU I figured out you can create a unique versatility about yourself when you learn how to function without your family in an unfamiliar place. There are so many ways you can grow as a person when you go to school far away, and these were the most important things I learned when finding myself:
- You have to make yourself uncomfortable to find new comfort. This can be as simple as smiling to the person riding the elevator with you, or as wild as applying for an internship that seems way out of your ability level. Taking risks is the only way to make strides in life – you must leave your comfort zone in order to create a new one somewhere else. Applying for my first position in ImPRessions last year was not an easy task – I was new to the strategic communication side of journalism, and I honestly didn’t think I was going to get a spot on the account because I had absolutely no experience. But I forced myself to reach out anyway, and I have fallen in love with public relations.
- Establish a sense of independence. Your mom isn’t always going to be there to make you a cup of soup when you have a cold, and your dad won’t be able to drop everything and fix your car when it’s broken. The same goes for the public relations industry. One of the best parts of being a journalism student at OU is the availability of numerous extracurricular opportunities. In our public relations and advertising clubs, we learn the strategies we need so we can go out in the work field and do our jobs effectively without needing someone to hold our hands.
- But don’t be scared to ask for help. You don’t have to do it all alone. Asking for help is something I’ve never been good at, but I’ve come to realize that you alone cannot and will not have all the answers. Asking for help doesn’t show weakness, instead it shows you have the strength to recognize the areas you need some assistance in and take the initiative to do so. Nobody is perfect no matter how hard we try.
Going to school away from home can be hard at times, but it teaches you things that when the time comes to graduate and enter the “real world” you’ll know what to do in a new and unfamiliar place.