Three Universities, Three Years: Confessions of a Travel-Driven Student

In the past three years, I have attended three universities (four if you count my community college, Citrus College). In 2021, I transferred to Yale, my starting point if you will. Then, in the summer of 2022, I interned with the CDC at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor. And now, after completing another Fall semester at Yale, I’ve ended up at the University of Oxford where I’ll be studying abroad for the first six months of 2023. Three universities in the past three years. In honor of this I have written three short confessions - more so, reflections - about what I’ve learned while explroring. 

Confession #1: Getting Up and Getting Out

As much as I am a homebody and love being at home, whether that’s my home in California or my suite in Murray, I’m also the type of person who constantly wants to be on the move. I get antsy when I’m in a place for far too long and I absolutely love the idea of living somewhere new even if it’s for a short amount of time and even if it’s initially scary - which it always is. Hence, I’ve now found myself living in Oxford, United Kingdom. However, even when I’m at Yale, the travel bug never really leaves me. When I’ve stayed on campus over breaks, I’ve been fortunate enough to go around Connecticut and explore the various other cities the state has to offer (as well as continually wander around New Haven). I’ve discovered that I’ve learned about myself the most when I’m in a new city, surrounded by new experiences, and meeting new people. It’s definitely important to lay down some roots as a student and as a person but, growing also means exploring more than your immediate surrounding. 

Confession #2: Reminders of My Roots

Packing up my life for months at a time hasn’t always been the easiest thing to do (my New Haven storage unit is currently jammed packed) but, nothing beats the excitement of preparing for a new trip. And looking back on the few places I’ve been to so far, they’ve all - one way or another - connected back to Yale: I transferred to Yale last year and so my community college experience will always be tied to the school; the Office of Career Strategy helped me prep for my CDC internship interviews; my Yale study abroad adviser has assisted and supported me throughout my entire time at Oxford. New places, no matter how far, will always remind you in some way or another of your beginning - of the roots. 

Confession #3: Homesick

I won’t go into too much detail for this confession, especially since I have an entire blog post dedicated to this topic but, homesickness is very real (even for someone like me who likes to travel). Although I sometimes forget the fact that I’m not close to home and to the people I care about when I’m having fun or caught up in the life of a new city, when I do remember the time differences and the distance, it’s not the best feeling. The homesickness I feel at times makes it challenging when I’m asked to make the decision between staying where I am or packing up and moving for a few months again. I won’t lie and say that I haven’t changed my mind about decisions several times and that those choices were not made last minute. But, I think it’s important to trust yourself and any feelings you are experiencing when making decisions about moving, even if that involves changing your mind at the last second.