I Left My Home State For College — And What It Was Like

January 20, 2021


I love my home state. Oregon is filled with mountain ranges, lush valleys, access to the Pacific Ocean, and much more. Also, note the coldest I experienced in my hometown of Salem was 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Needless to say, many were surprised to find out that I was moving to the midwest for college.


I never planned to move out of state. With close family and friends, moving far away wasn’t a requirement, but I didn’t mind the idea either. I ventured to Minnesota because my best friend was interested in going to Crown College. During the visit, I walked on a frozen lake for the first time and learned about a sport called broomball. I connected with college students, experienced “the dorm life,” and fell in love with a college.


Leaving your state to attend a college is about finding the right place to grow. I wanted a place where I could grow intellectually, develop strong friendships, and go deeper in my faith. Though Crown was over 2,000 miles away, it fit the bill.


There are a few things I learned when jumping over a few states to attend college.

  • Pack wisely.
    • You should pack the essentials and expensive items: laptop, clothes, and bluetooth speaker. Bring the sentimental things that will make your new dorm feel like home: family pictures, favorite blanket, and life-size Gumby doll (seriously, it made my dorm experience that much better).
  • List what you can get there.
    • Between Walmart, Target, and Amazon, you can easily find the daily essentials. 
    • If you are planning on shipping items to your dorm, make sure to connect with the mail center for shipping information.
    • Plan visits to home.
    • Sit down and figure out when breaks are and when you can visit family. I traveled home for Christmas and Summer. But during breaks when the dorms were closed, friends invited me to their houses.
    • Figure out plane ticket prices so you can plan wisely, saving up properly, and ordering tickets at the optimal time.
    • Get to know the new city.
    • Wherever you move, you will have new exciting adventures. If you have a car, find what’s within a reasonable driving distance to visit.
    • For me, the Twin Cities were bustling with new things to do. I didn’t have a car, but I did have plenty of friends who didn’t mind driving.
  • Stay connected.
    • Just because I moved to a new state didn’t mean I had to abandon Oregon. Whether you use social media, email, or just plain old snail-mail, figure out ways to connect with your family and friends. They’ll want to know what’s happening in your life.


Moving out of state for college is not for everyone. There are plenty of circumstances where it makes more sense to stay local. However, if you’re looking for an adventure or find a school that feels like a place to grow and call home, then embrace the change!