Getting used to living away from home

My name is Alicia and I am from the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. Two years ago I decided to go to college in the United States because I felt that I had more opportunities there. I am currently a student at Northeastern University majoring in Business with a concentration in Marketing. Coming to the US was a big change for me in many ways. Here are a few of the things that I experienced:


Going away for college helped me gain more independence than I had back when I was living with my parents in Puerto Rico. No longer do I have to ask my mom and dad for permission to go out – I can come and go as I please. This freedom is probably the thing I like the most about living away from home. But, I had to get used to it and make sure I was making responsible decisions. When it came to making decisions, I definitely made a few mistakes during my freshmen year (stayed out late before an exam), but I learned from those mistakes and figured out how to prioritize and plan ahead.

More work/responsibility

With independence comes responsibility. I have to make sure that everything is being taken care of, especially now that I live off campus. Back home my parents would take care of the bills, get food, and thankfully do the laundry. Now I have to take care of all of these things. The hardest part for me has been handling the monthly electricity, water, and internet bills. I am not used to making these payments and at first it was kind of confusing and hard to keep up with everything. But, eventually I found that making a schedule with all the due dates really eased the process.


After moving away from home I started to notice everyday costs that I wasn’t used to handling before. Spending money on things like laundry, groceries, and bills was something I had to get used to. When I came to college I had to consider all of these things and make sure that I wasn’t spending too much money on leisure activities so that I could pay for everything I actually needed. To keep track of my finances, I wrote down what I spent on laundry, groceries, and bills each month so I could determine how much money I needed in my account to cover it all and how much I had left over for leisure activities.


Well, homesickness is definitely something that everyone who goes to school away from home experiences. Some have a harder time with it than others, but at some point everyone goes through it. Personally, I haven’t experienced homesickness a lot, but occasionally I have – especially when I’m sick. When I was living in Puerto Rico and got sick, my mom or dad would take care of me, which was comforting. But in college, I am on my own and have to take care of myself, which generally makes me miss home. Thankfully, now there are many ways to communicate with my parents, like Skype and/or FaceTime, which have really helped me whenever I get homesick. I also try to find comfort with other things like hanging out with friends, watching a movie, or maybe cooking a meal that reminds me of home.


Alicia MarquesAbout the author: Alicia Marques is a 19-year-old Puerto Rican who is currently a student at Northeastern University with a major in Business and a minor in French.





Leave a Reply