All the struggles of moving away from home for college

It’s a wake-up call to reality

Moving away from home and starting my independent life has so far been an exciting but turbulent experience. There’s so much we took advantage of living at home, be it in a big city like London or New York, or in a more rural environment. Shelters come in all shapes and sizes and are sometimes so inconspicuous you don’t even realize that yes, you too were sheltered. College is your wake-up call to reality, and these are some of the struggles.

Wrinkly sheets

Your sheets are usually ironed and let’s be honest, so is your underwear. The first time I got my sheets back from the laundry, they arrived in a crumpled, messy fold. I figured these crumples would magically disappear after spreading it over my bed…and suffice to say that’s not what happened. I ironed the sheet whilst it was on the bed: apparently not the convention, but it works! As for the underwear, hopeless case.

Just made. -__-


Apparently it doesn’t just disappear overtime. You can close your eyes and hope it goes away as long as you want but it will only get worse. You may blame the college for being dirty but the reality is there was dust at home – you just never noticed it there because you didn’t have to clean it. No you’re not seeing things, that shelf has not always been beige or speckled. It was white. And now it’s dusty. Grab a wipe and clean it.

Better than a sponge and water–fast and easy drying.


There is such a thing as a wireless vacuum…I never knew. Having a powerful vacuum will save your life. It’s worth the space. College floors get dusty and crumby fast, so a vacuum is necessary and that small hand vacuum is not going to do it because you’ll give up on crouching after a week tops. Also, choose your carpet carefully. If you have a carpet that sheds, or worse, has lots of stringy bits which makes it impossible to vacuum and it becomes a black hole for everything tiny you own, then you know the struggle.

Black. Freaking. Hole.


Yes, creepy crawlies can be found in the bedroom – and I’ve heard mice have made the cut too. Keep food packages tied up tight, jars clean and screwed, and everything else shut up in the fridge. Constantly remove your food trash or the ants will come and they will dominate. Actually, ants might be the least of your concerns.

You have to do math

For the internationals out there, two words: Money. Conversion. Don’t get me wrong, calculating how many more shoes, jackets or PS4 games you can buy with the exchange rate is fun, unless of course the result is that you can buy fewer. And if you still find yourself traveling home a lot, you’ve experienced the pain of having to think in two different currencies so you can budget accordingly.

If you don’t have an app like this, you are not yet officially international.

Automatic bank transfer

Because how else would your phone bill get paid? You’re certainly not going to remember, I mean this is college we’ve got more important things to think about like how we’re going to pass Thursday’s midterm and still get to go to Whiskey Wednesday.

And you even get a thank you for being environmentally friendly…#GoodIntentions

Everyday struggles

So, I asked some Brown students what struggles they faced, and this is what they said.

“I was sheltered from the elements” – Jana Bawazeer, freshman, Saudi Arabia

“My roommate keeps the room smelling like shit. He’s cock-blocking me without even knowing it” – a freshman, Italy

“I can’t fit all my shoes in my closet which is a struggle and I need to get more hangers for my pants which is also a struggle and I wish I had a bigger TV, just being honest” – Corey Hebert, freshman, Chicago

“I can’t plug in my super strong European hairdryer because it needs 220V to work and the socket only takes 110V, so I had to buy a transformer the size of my bed!…Ok the size of my desk…Ok half the size of my desk.” – Ayla Jeiroudi, freshman, Lebanon

“The horrible sushi at the blue room. The water tastes disgusting at the ratty” – Maria Gallegos, freshman, New York

“All my friends are going to Punta Cana and I’m going to St Tropez.  #NoChill” – Leana Sindi, freshman, London

“I don’t know what to put on the bottom shelf of my three-level night stand and the empty unit is ruining the aesthetic” – Gur Agci, freshman, Turkey


Brown University national-us