How to Overcome Depression when moving away from home to go to College
CHALLENGE: Moving away from home to college for the first time as a Millennial Woman
As a first-generation Latina college student at UCF, transitioning from having support an arm reach away in Miami to moving 300 miles away to Orlando was not easy. Sometimes getting out of bed was the biggest accomplishment I had all day, and that was OK. I learned that nothing worth having comes easy. I felt a tidal wave of different emotions because I left everything I knew and started over. I had to make a name for myself, make friends, get familiar with different roads, and a different routine. The strongest feeling I felt was loneliness.
One day, I realized I was counting down the days until graduation and not truly enjoying this unique period of my life as a UCF Knight. I had to promise myself it would get better. I will be moving to Austin, TX after graduation to pursue my dream of managing a hotel with an amazing company, White Lodging. Here I am, getting out of my comfort zone. Now, instead of being a 3-hour drive from home, I will be a 3-hour flight, but this is where growth happens. I am ready to take on the challenge and find comfort in having a support system rooting for me. The best advice I can ever give anyone is life really does begin at the end of your comfort zone.
SOLUTION: Stepping out of your comfort zone for growth opportunities
Here are some tips that helped me and can hopefully help you on your journey:
I used Pinterest as a way to let go of stress and pin quotes on how I felt. These pins gave me the motivation to rise up to the challenges of difficult days
- Country Music
Listening to all of the strong female country artists like Kelsea Ballerini and Carrie Underwood taught me that women can be legends too. It also taught me sometimes the obstacles that seem the hardest are really just a grain of sand in the grand scheme of things.
- Stepping out of my comfort zone
This one was the hardest challenge because nobody likes change. I forced myself to do something I would never do once a week. Whether it was speaking up in a classroom of 300 students or attending a social with no one I knew going, I pushed myself to do it.
- Getting involved on campus
I joined three clubs and put all my energy towards them. I made long-lasting friendships and networked like never before.
- Asking for help from my counselors
I jumped at the chance to ask my college advisor for a scholarship to study abroad in France. I got a $2,000 scholarship. If I would have never asked, I would have never been given this opportunity.
An excerpt from my scholarship:
Jump out of your comfort zone every single time. Don’t be afraid to jump at every opportunity given to you no matter how scary it is.
- My family’s support
The greatest help on my journey was from my family. Like I mentioned before, I live 300 miles away from home and sometimes the realization of the distance puts a damper on my day. My parents have shown me during the past two years, that they are never too far. FaceTime calls and monthly visits have kept me sane.
Today I am proud to share that:
- I got a Full-time job offer 10 months before graduation to work for White Lodging in Austin, TX.
- I raised over $2,000 for the kids through Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
- I am on the dean’s leadership council serving as the voice for UCF’s student body.
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