OPINION: How I deal with being over 2,000 miles away from home

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Photo of Brianna Ali, a UA biology major, outside of her student apartment in fall 2018.

In August of 2018 I left my little suburban town and moved to the other side of the country, abandoning my family, my friends and the life I was accustomed to. As I got on the plane to leave for Wildcat Country, and the sadness of leaving everything behind had not quite hit me yet. 

When I went through a week of recruitment to be involved with Greek Life, it still had yet to hit me. As I bonded with my new sisters and created wonderful friendships, it still never hit me. As finals approached for the fall semester, my sad emotions were nowhere to be seen. SAD? Who is she? 

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It was not until I came back to Tucson for the spring semester that I realized I was a long way from Pennsylvania. I felt alone, angry and annoyed that I once again had to leave everything and everyone back at home for another five months. Instead of being down in the dumps, I have looked into new ways to stay positive and on track for school. So far, they have proven to be successful!

Keep busy

The fall semester is much different from the spring because I do not have as much going on with my sorority as of now. In the fall I was eager to get around to meet and talk to all of my sisters. Now, after a semester of being with all the girls, I have gotten used to Greek Life and can manage all of the responsibilities that come along with it. To take up some of my time this semester, I am doing things like journaling, exploring Tucson and spending time with my roommates. 

Focus on you

One thing I took away from the fall semester was that I needed to start spending some quality time with myself, whether it is a trip to the nail salon, time at the gym or just staying in my room to journal. I have realized when I am not taking care of myself mentally, I tend to fall off track in school and in life. 

Eat some good food

Yes, spring break may be right around the corner, but it is okay to indulge just a little. Go pick up that snack that reminds you of home – better yet, try to make that dish you thought only your mom could perfect, and see how it comes out. 

Music

Create a playlist that makes you happy. There is nothing I enjoy more than putting in my earbuds and cancelling out the world around me. Play the playlist as you walk from class to class, even when you are doing homework. 

It is okay to cry

You do not have to be strong all the time. It is okay to cry. It is inevitable that at some point you are going to miss home. If I feel like I want to cry, I call my mom or best friend and let them know how I am feeling. Usually after the conversation, I want to cry more, and that is perfectly fine. Holding in all of your emotions never ends well. In the end, it will always be okay.

Stay positive

It may be hard at times, but try to stay positive as much as possible. Think about all the wonderful reasons you came to the University of Arizona and focus on that. Being here for the last six months has taught me so much about myself and has allowed me to grow in ways I didn’t even know I could. 


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