Being a 1000 Miles From Home

By: Caitlin Farrell

When I decided to move to come to Emory, I had not a thought on my mind of what it is like being away from home. I had moved out of my town in Hailey, Idaho when I went to undergrad up at the University of Idaho. Now I know that moving away from home is something that many people go through. Life changes and even moving out of our home to the house next door would be a challenge. There is something about being so far away though that creates distance in both physical space and relationships. So, I thought I would share some of the thoughts that I have had this past year of living so far away from home. 

  1. One of the things I have noticed the most is that the time change can be the most difficult part of the relationship. When I lived in Northern Idaho, we were in an hour difference behind which I honestly did not notice as much since I was such an early riser that my family could have their day going easily by the time that I would call home. I am now two hours ahead of my family, which does not seem like a lot of time, but it has to play a part in the planning of how you communicate to others. 
  2. Along with time with communicating, just comes a natural distance to friends who are back home or also away from home. I have moved away from people and there is a loss that you can feel with that. However, I have appreciated the people who have stayed close and grown even closer into friendships than before. 
  3. There can be lonely times being so far away from home and what has been your support system. I have found that there are times that I just want my mama to give me a big hug or just go into the mountains for a hike with my dogs. What I have realized though is that those moments will always be available for me at home, and I needed to find new ways to cope with the feelings of loneliness. This has allowed to truly look inward and figure out more of myself. It has not been a fun process all the time, but I am a more confident and focused person because of it. 
  4. I had only visited Atlanta twice before moving down here and had not fully thought of what living in Atlanta was going to look like. I highly recommend that you do a bit more research than I did with where you truly want to live, where you would be shopping, and what is around you for what to do. There are the little changes that can mean a lot for your comfort of living. For me the biggest change was commuting into school and how the traffic of Atlanta impacts my time. Traffic is consistently bad, unless you leave at 6:30am like I do, but it can vary a lot depending on the time and if there is a crash. That has been a huge change from a ten-minute commute that I had before. 
  5. Finally, since Atlanta is such a big city there is luckily tons of connecting flights to be able to get home. It is not an easy flight, but it can be easy to book it if needed. Finding home in my own space though has helped me feeling grounded and connected to my family. The moments that I feel low I know that I can go light my pine candle, open a window, or give a quick call home to get support. What is so special about being so far from home too is being able to explore the brand-new area that I am in. This is not just Atlanta, but also everywhere that is close by- Savannah, Chattanooga, Nashville, Athens, Macon, Helens, or a trip up to see Dollywood.
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