Surgeryislife

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So I have a few acceptances that are mainly from out of state schools. I lived at home with my family throughout undergrad to save money and am really really close with my parents (and my dog). Even if I go to school in my own state, I'll be moving out. I've lived away from home before for about a year, but it was only 2.5 hours away. I'm just wondering what people think about the transition to living in another state during medical school. Does this make med school harder than it needs to be? Is it difficult to make friends, a support system, etc? How do you cope with loneliness and homesickness? Any advice or insight would be much appreciated!
 

mvenus929

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I don't feel this terribly acutely, because half my family is 4 hours away, and I've lived away from my family pretty much all through college and beyond (my mom was deployed to Kuwait my first year of undergrad, and then to Iraq after I graduated, and then to Italy when I started med school). So I've been pretty used to moving away, and didn't think med school was that much of a challenge adjusting.

If you are open to making friends, it's generally not hard to in med school. You're all in the same boat.

Call your family as much as you need to to avoid homesickness--when I started college, my mom and I would talk almost every day, even if it was just for 10 minutes or so. Make use of Skype or Facetime or whatever if you feel you need to see them. Decide early on when you're going back to visit, and how you're going to get there. It will make planning significantly easier. Encourage your family to send care packages. This is something I kinda wish my mom would have done for me (or my dad for that matter).
 
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Surgeryislife

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I don't feel this terribly acutely, because half my family is 4 hours away, and I've lived away from my family pretty much all through college and beyond (my mom was deployed to Kuwait my first year of undergrad, and then to Iraq after I graduated, and then to Italy when I started med school). So I've been pretty used to moving away, and didn't think med school was that much of a challenge adjusting.

If you are open to making friends, it's generally not hard to in med school. You're all in the same boat.

Call your family as much as you need to to avoid homesickness--when I started college, my mom and I would talk almost every day, even if it was just for 10 minutes or so. Make use of Skype or Facetime or whatever if you feel you need to see them. Decide early on when you're going back to visit, and how you're going to get there. It will make planning significantly easier. Encourage your family to send care packages. This is something I kinda wish my mom would have done for me (or my dad for that matter).
Thanks so much for sharing your experience! You must be one tough/independent cookie to handle all of undergrad with your mom so far away. Sadly/strangely, I'm mostly concerned about not seeing my dog for huge blocks of time :/ Lol it's why I'm starting to veer away from schools that are a plane ride away (other side of the country) to those which are under a 6 hour drive (so he can be brought to visit me!) :) we will see what happens. It's nice to have someone else's input though so again, thank you. And thanks to your family and your mom for serving our country (so perfect that it's Veterans Day today!)
 

runnergirl6

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Thanks so much for sharing your experience! You must be one tough/independent cookie to handle all of undergrad with your mom so far away. Sadly/strangely, I'm mostly concerned about not seeing my dog for huge blocks of time :/ Lol it's why I'm starting to veer away from schools that are a plane ride away (other side of the country) to those which are under a 6 hour drive (so he can be brought to visit me!) :) we will see what happens. It's nice to have someone else's input though so again, thank you. And thanks to your family and your mom for serving our country (so perfect that it's Veterans Day today!)
I definitely know the feeling of missing your dog! That was actually the hardest part for me during my first few weeks of undergrad -- I was sooo homesick for my puppies! I do think you get used to being away though, and it's always so much fun to go back home, my dogs always get so happy to see me. It is nice to be within driving distance, especially if you are close to your family. But I think even if you end up kind of far away, the homesickness will go away because you will be so busy with med school (that's what happened for me first year of college, I was super homesick at first but it got better pretty quickly).
 
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Coming from a big, fairly enmeshed, family it has been a difficult transition. I used to live about an hour away from my family with my significant other. Now I live about 8 hours from home with one guy I hadn't met before school. I am close with my roommate, and I've made a lot of great friends so far in school (only an m1), but it is pretty hard. For me the stress of school is really not too bad, but it is very hard to be away from my support network and all of the people I care about. I disagree with runnergirl6 that the homesickness going away as you get busier. Sometimes I feel like a stranger in a strange land, and a few of my other friends that are OOS feel the same way. If your only options are to go far away, school will still be a fun and enjoyable experience; but it will have a bit of extra challenge. If I could do it again, I would go closer to home but as is often the case on SDN YMMV/n=1.
 

organdonor

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Making friends in med school is exactly as hard as you make it.

In my class there are always people organizing a bar crawl or getting together downtown. I always ate lunch in the med student lounge and you can't help but start up small talk with your classmates. It is nice to know that there are dozens of people taking your exact classes that know exactly what you are going through. Study groups are always looking for more partners and clubs are always looking for members.
 

ynot89125

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So I have a few acceptances that are mainly from out of state schools. I lived at home with my family throughout undergrad to save money and am really really close with my parents (and my dog). Even if I go to school in my own state, I'll be moving out. I've lived away from home before for about a year, but it was only 2.5 hours away. I'm just wondering what people think about the transition to living in another state during medical school. Does this make med school harder than it needs to be? Is it difficult to make friends, a support system, etc? How do you cope with loneliness and homesickness? Any advice or insight would be much appreciated!
Honestly I think it will be a good experience for you. Unless you plan to do med school and residency and find employment near your family (need to be lucky) you will be forced to move away anyways at least for a couple of years. Going to medical school out of state will help you gain some independence and meet some diverse people and yes you might feel homesick but that's all part of growing up right? Maybe I've always been an independent person (I moved out of state for undergrad and don't really want to move back for medical school) but I always felt like I gained alot from moving away from my family.
 
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Surgeryislife

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Thanks everyone for your advice :) I have a lot to think about and I'm sure a lot of incoming med students face these issues as well so hopefully this thread will help them too!
 
Jul 2, 2013
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So I have a few acceptances that are mainly from out of state schools. I lived at home with my family throughout undergrad to save money and am really really close with my parents (and my dog). Even if I go to school in my own state, I'll be moving out. I've lived away from home before for about a year, but it was only 2.5 hours away. I'm just wondering what people think about the transition to living in another state during medical school. Does this make med school harder than it needs to be? Is it difficult to make friends, a support system, etc? How do you cope with loneliness and homesickness? Any advice or insight would be much appreciated!
I am not a med student, so I can't speak to the transition.
But FWIW, I have had a few of my interviewers ask me about how I picked schools/what I'm looking for and I mentioned that many of the schools I applied to were in areas where I had family (immediate or extended) nearby, within a few hours driving distance (there were a few much further away too though). I am used to moving away from people or living without my parents so I'm not worried about being homesick, but now that I have the choice, I want to be around family or my grandparents while I can. My grandparents are aging, my cousins are having children, etc-- I know I would miss out on seeing them if I was halfway across the country instead of a few hours away. I told my interviewers that I wanted to have a support system nearby and be able to visit family, and they completely agreed with me that it is very helpful and a valid reason. So if it's helpful for you, I would do what you feel is best for you. You're going to gain independence living on your own regardless, since you'll be responsible for yourself. But as ynot said, it's very likely you will eventually have to move away.
 

sinombre

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Can you take your dog with you?
 

pietachok

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Difficult or not, you're at a point in life where you should be developing independence. While family support can be good in stressful times like medical school, it can also go the other way and bring added stress -- parents don't understand why you suddenly can't linger at home around holidays or make it home for every single family tradition. There is a lot of camaraderie in med school, and these days I think many if not most schools offer pretty positive, supportive environments where you will be able to thrive without your family (and it's not like you're really without them. telephone! Skype! email!).

If you are *that* badly homesick at this age, it's probably not a bad idea to avail yourself of a counselor. All schools will have those, and they are utilized by a large % of students who have to learn to cope with some aspect of med school or the way it interfaces with their personal life. You'll probably find it's not nearly as bad as you expect when you're so excited (which you will be at first) and busy.
 
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Surgeryislife

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Jan 25, 2013
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Difficult or not, you're at a point in life where you should be developing independence. While family support can be good in stressful times like medical school, it can also go the other way and bring added stress -- parents don't understand why you suddenly can't linger at home around holidays or make it home for every single family tradition. There is a lot of camaraderie in med school, and these days I think many if not most schools offer pretty positive, supportive environments where you will be able to thrive without your family (and it's not like you're really without them. telephone! Skype! email!).

If you are *that* badly homesick at this age, it's probably not a bad idea to avail yourself of a counselor. All schools will have those, and they are utilized by a large % of students who have to learn to cope with some aspect of med school or the way it interfaces with their personal life. You'll probably find it's not nearly as bad as you expect when you're so excited (which you will be at first) and busy.
Yeah! I definitely know I'm quite capable and I've always been an independent type of person, I just worry that with more stress than I've ever known (med school) I might want a little extra emotional cushion lol. But I'm very happy to hear that med students tend to be supportive of one another and that counseling is available should things get overwhelming. :D
 

Pacna

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I moved across the country to go to college and I never felt homesickness. Maybe you'll be like me! :)