When I first received my acceptance letter from Appalachian State University I was overwhelmed with so many emotions. I was happy, excited and felt accomplished, but I also felt anxious and very nervous. I have always been a homebody. I love home so much and I was always nervous when going on trips and even small vacations, so you can imagine coming to college was a big step and a tough move for me. As the summer came to an end, I started to pack my things to get ready for the big move. I remember sitting in my room and wondering “what should I even pack,” and “there is no possible way I can fit my entire life into a dorm room.” With those thoughts and many others racing through my mind, I had to take a step back to figure out what I was even doing. I quickly went to something I am good at: I made a list, multiple lists. One for bathroom essentials, clothes, shoes and a random items list. I found these lists extremely helpful and they made my packing process less stressful.
Another thing I did to calm my nerves about leaving home was research all about Boone, North Carolina. The different places, clubs on campus, restaurants and activities. I quickly found so many places I was excited about. I tried to compare these places to places at home that I really enjoyed so when I would get to Appalachian, I would feel like I already knew my way around. There are many clubs here at Appalachian and finding one ahead of time that you think you could be interested in is super helpful in many ways. You can meet new people, make connections with people that have the same interests as you and keep yourself busy so you aren’t bored or feel unaccomplished.
Aside from physically preparing for college, there are steps you should take to mentally prepare yourself. Being away from home is fun and exciting, but it is completely different. College is a whole new world. You are on your own for the first time and things can get tricky. Without a set schedule or set rules to follow, I found myself staying up way later than I was used to and it threw my body’s sleep schedule off. I was constantly exhausted, and it was hard for me to accomplish things that I needed to get finished. Once I realized I needed a set sleep schedule, I was way better off and able to do my best in school and other activities.
Being a senior, I reflect on my time here frequently and I have come to realize that deciding to come to Appalachian has been the best decision I have ever made. I will forever be grateful for this opportunity.
Senior, Special Education