Packing up and moving to campus is not easy for anyone. It typically involves the painstaking process of deciding which sweater comes and which stays behind, an overstuffed suitcase and leaving behind friends, family and home. Yet, when it finally comes time to move onto campus, some of my peers will hop in a car or on a train with their families in tow, but I will hop on a flight traveling across the country from Portland, Oregon.
I am not complaining. I know that many students at Princeton travel even longer distances to receive the incredible education we are all so lucky to have. If anything, I like the fact that I am from a place so unique on Princeton’s campus. That said, it also means that my Princeton experience is different. I go home for fewer breaks. Move-in and move-out days are a little more stressful. When I forget to bring my graphing calculator, my parents can’t just pop over and deliver it on the weekend.
While I may not be from the Northeast, over my time here, I have learned to lean into my difference. When I tell people where I am from, I usually get excited follow-up questions and inquiries. On breaks that I haven’t been able to go home, I have been welcomed into the homes of the incredible friends I have made over the course of my time here. So, while I occasionally wish my parents lived just a tad closer to campus, I will always be a proud Oregonian at Princeton, living far from home.