Out-of-state students share challenges in coming to N.J.

With the fall semester underway, Seton Hall opens their doors to students from far and wide, some traveling farther than others.

Out-of-state students might have to adapt to a new way of living.

Some of the changes some new students face is the East Coast climate.

Annabella Pastorok, a senior biology pre-dental major from Southbury, Conn., expressed that she misses her hometown cuisine. For example, her family’s homemade Italian food was a staple when living back home. It is greatly missed here in New Jersey. Pastorok said that Jersey does have “great bagels,” which is something her home state lacks.

Carl Yetter, a junior sports management major, noticed different types of restaurants in the area.

“My favorite part about New Jersey is that there are a lot of diners here,” he explained. “I like going to different diners because back home I can only think of one diner in the whole city.” However, he especially misses the Mexican food from his hometown of El Paso, Texas.

Yetter also noted that the New Jersey climate may come as a curveball to some students.

“For me, the toughest thing to adjust to was the winter weather here in New Jersey,” he said. “We hardly get snow in El Paso, so I am not used to bundling up that much or wearing snow boots.”

Aubrey Casterline, a junior creative writing and philosophy major from New York, missed more of the little things, particularly the roads.

“I miss the highways from back home,” she said. “My family and I travel a lot, and driving is much easier in upstate New York and Pennsylvania than it is in New Jersey. New Jersey has complicated highway systems.”

For some out-of-state students, it might be difficult to acclimate to the new environment.

“Get involved and remember it is totally okay to be homesick,” Pastorok said. “It is okay to call your parents or friends from home, but remember you are starting a new journey of independence, so you have to put yourself out there. Nothing is more fun than bonding with someone who is from your state or near your town and talking about your home.”

Tatiana Hernandez, a sophomore political science major from Hayward, Calif., recounted her experiences of moving to New Jersey. She said, “When I moved, I did not know anybody. My family and friends were 3,000 miles away. After my mom helped me move in, I was alone.” Hernandez continued, “I felt vulnerable, homesick and scared. I had to learn to rely on and trust myself more. I had to remember that if I was strong enough to decide to move away from everything I knew, I was strong enough to thrive.”

Hernandez shared advice for incoming out-of-state students. “You were strong in leaving home to pursue your aspirations,” she said.

“You are strong enough to continue to fight for them. You deserve to succeed. No matter how homesick you feel or wonder if you made the right choice, you did. You would not do something you did not believe you would do great in.”

Claudia Emanuele can be reached at Claudia.emanuele@ student.shu.edu.

Author: Claudia Emanuele

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