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Iowa State Daily

Iowa State Daily

No place like home: Out-of-state students transition into college

New+Iowa+State+students+receive+merchandise+at+the+Cyclone+Welcome+Weekend+Cookout+on+Friday%2C+Aug.+18%2C+2023%2C+at+the+Lied+Recreation+Athletic+Center+in+Ames.
Daniel Jacobi II
New Iowa State students receive merchandise at the Cyclone Welcome Weekend Cookout on Friday, Aug. 18, 2023, at the Lied Recreation Athletic Center in Ames.

Before coming to college, many students were told that these years would be the best of their lives. However, for students such as Abby Jonassen, a freshman psychology student from Orono, Minnesota, no one warned against the struggle and adjustment of being away from home.

“I wanted something new and to meet new people,” said Jonassen. “I chose ISU because it just felt right.” 

However, being away from home can also be highly stressful for out-of-state students, such as Jonassen and her experience without her family members.

“The hardest part has been being away from my family and animals and living away from my mom,” Jonassen said.

Students who have vastly different college experiences from the start may struggle with the same things. 

“I’m not used to being away [from my family] for so long,” said Francesca Brill, a freshman in civil engineering. She came to Iowa State University from Peoria, Illinois. Although being away from home for college may be challenging, it offers many new gateways for a student’s future.

Brill said she chose to attend an out-of-state school because there are more opportunities. She picked Iowa State because of its engineering program, community and the people she was surrounded with.

As the first month of classes comes to an end, Brill and Jonassen both said that they have fallen into a routine and that being away from home has gotten easier. 

“It has gotten better over the weeks. In the beginning, it was horrible because of the heat,” she said.

Regardless, students such as Jonassen and Brill all experience struggles individually. Finding a balance between their social and academic lives is one of them.

Iowa State University offers many different resources for students who need help with the adjustment, such as counseling, training and various hotlines. All of these can be found on the ISU Wellbeing website or via an appointment at the Thielen Student Health Center. Students can also try talking to a friend and/or a roommate.

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    chaitali sabnis | Sep 28, 2023 at 10:46 pm

    I am a member of ISU parents Facebook group and saw this page in the group.I eagerly read thru this nicely written piece, however,was dejected to see that there is no mention of the challenges faced by international students i.e students from outside USA!! who have consciously made the decision of making ISU dorms their home for 4 years atleast …These students constitute a significant number.

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