I moved 2,500 miles away from home for college!

moving to Los Angeles

“I get ideas about what’s essential when packing my suitcase.”

—Diane von Furstenberg

The differences

For the past two years, drafting posts always took place atop a teal duvet in a house that was always quiet. My mom usually cooked dinner or cleaned the house while I typed. My dad always came home from a round of tennis right as I finished the graphics.

It’s almost difficult to blog in my new, unfamiliar “home.” The walls here are white, not blue. The bed is a twin, not a queen — and lofted far too high for someone who is 5-feet-3. The desk is a light brown, not an almost-black “espresso.”

It’d be easy to sit here and list everything that makes this room different from the one in my home, but the biggest different is the hardest to ignore.

My old bedroom window revealed the cypress trees and wildlife of Florida, and this one frames the beautiful Los Angeles skyline.

The not-so-unusual journey

A week and a half ago (the night before my flight), I yanked every garment of clothing out of my closet and started rolling haphazardly until everything fit into two boxes and a medium-sized, red suitcase. Two flights later, I found myself in my Northern California hometown. I wanted to visit family, and it seemed to appropriate to start my journey to college in the city where I was born.

My dad and I made the six-hour drive to LA on Tuesday (after bidding mom and my grandparents goodbye), and began moving into my on-campus apartment Wednesday morning. Now, we’ve reached the point in the story that landed me where I’m sitting at this exact moment.

Thoughts on my new residence

I share an on-campus apartment with three other girls. The apartment has two bedrooms, one bathroom, a kitchen and a living room.

Honestly, I was not optimistic about the size/quality of our apartment prior to moving. Fortunately, my expectations were completely wrong. The shared areas are incredibly spacious, and the kitchen is clean with tons of cabinets. The bedroom I share with my roommate is cozy but not cramped.

My favorite part of our room is the view, which includes the LA skyline and Hollywood Hills, but the inside is pretty awesome, too. Both my roommate and I brought tons of stuff to decorate our room. I brought art from anime conventions, photos, the mask I wore to Metrocon 2016 and — of course — books!

(Pssst! Be sure to let me know if you’re interested in a room tour post!)

Classes start tomorrow, and I’m 100 percent ready to dive into my major. Welcome Week activities are fun, but my introversion leaves me exhausted by the end of the night!

What is the farthest distance you’ve ever been from home for an extended period of time?


  • Charlie @ Girl of 1000 Wonders

    I have never been that far from home. While I have traveled for upwards of a week to San Diego, Nashville, and Acme, Pennsylvania, it was only short trips. I was only two hours away from home. My family is now on the other side of the lens, though, with my brother stationed in Hawaii. I think a tour post would be awesome! I hope you enjoy your grand adventure!

    • Dana

      My desk is about 35% disaster right now, so I’ll tidy it up and take photos sometime this week. Need for tidiness aside, my roommate is asleep right now, so it’d be weird if I started taking photos now. San Diego is not too far from Los Angeles. I visited with my dad when I came to LA for the first time two years ago. There’s great Mexican food there.
      Thank you! I’m definitely enjoying it, but I have bouts of homesickness, too.

  • Holly @ Nut Free Nerd

    Room tour post? Yes, please!
    You’re so brave for going to school so far away from home. My college is only an hour and a half from where I live and I still often get homesick. I can’t imagine living thousands and miles away from my family, at least not at this point.
    Best of luck with everything! 🙂

    • Dana

      I’ll try to do a room tour soon!
      I’ve been enjoying the independence, on one hand. On the other hand, I’ve had bouts of homesickness. My nearest family is about 6 hours away, which isn’t so bad in comparison to Florida. I talk to my parents a lot at night, so I don’t feel separated from them. The person I really, really miss is my best friend!

  • Cait @ Paper Fury

    Oh that’s awesome that living away from home is working out for you well!! I kind of think that’d be terrifying heeh. XD I’ve gone on a trip around half of Australia for 2 months, so that’s the longest I haven’t been at home, buuuut I was with my family. 😀 Good luck with starting classes!

    • Dana

      Thanks Cait! I actually wrote this post in August (yikes, it’s been waaaay too long since I’ve blogged). I just finished my first semester. I had bouts of homesickness the first few weeks, but I’m happy with my choice. I call/text my parents daily and check in with my best friend from home often.
      That sounds like an awesome trip!

      Family vacations are fantastic. Although, most college students would never admit that. I’d love to visit Australia some day!

  • Sue @ Crushingcinders

    I can totally relate. At 16 I went to boarding school in another (neighboring) country which was the biggest adjustment I have ever had to make. I now have two homes, one in South Africa my beautiful country which adopted me at 16 and became home. The other is in Indonesia where my husband works. I travel between the two which is not good for having the right book for an instagram that was left on the other bookshelf. But the best thing is exploring and meeting new friends

    • Dana

      Studying across the country for four years already makes me a bit homesick, but studying in another country … whoa! I think it’s amazing that you can call two countries your home, especially two that are so different from each other. I can totally relate to your Instagram struggles! I don’t buy many books because I’m a devoted library supporter (and a broke college student), but half of them are on my shelf at home and the rest are in my apartment in LA. It’s been great meeting new people. I was even pleased to find many who come from my childhood hometown!

  • Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy

    Wow, it must be so different to see a cityscape every day now, but I’m glad you have a nice view of LA! 🙂 I’m also a bit jealous that you have such a nice apartment for school – my college dorm was pretty unremarkable and cramped. 🙂 I went up to Northern CA for college though, so not very far for me. I hope you are still enjoying your time here! I would love a room tour post! 🙂

    • Dana

      The constant “work hard, play hard” attitude of LA can be quite jarring, but the view from the campus at night is amazing! The apartment is a lot pricier than my family would have liked, but I guess that’s what I get for going to a California private school. I don’t think I’ll ever stop feeling so guilty and grateful about how much work my dad has done to pay for my education.
      I loooove NorCal! My hometown is there. I’m actually at my grandparents’ house in NorCal for Winter Break right now.
      I’d love to do a room tour, but my bedroom is still recovering from the natural disaster that was finals. There are study materials and homework assignments everywhere. I’ll get around to it one of these days!

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