Transitioning From Living on a Farm to a City

An aerial view of Rowan Boulevard.

One Rowan University Student Shares Her Journey Through Culture Shock

Hannah Goolden, a senior business management major from Hammonton, NJ (Atlantic County) shares this first-person perspective on how her life changed when moving from a farm to a city.

Changing my lifestyle from living on a farm with my family to living in a new city away from home was definitely an adjustment. I grew up on a 21-acre farm in Mullica Township, NJ (Gloucester County) on a farm with both of my parents and my twin sister. I now attend Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ and live in an off campus apartment by myself. Although I’m only living about 45 minutes away from home, sometimes it feels like I’m living in a completely different state. I was used to having to drive 15 to 20 minutes away to go out to eat or to go shopping, but now everywhere I would want to go is within a ten minute drive.

Hannah Goolden's first time unlocking the door to her apartment

Moving to Glassboro was a culture shock with the traffic, a bunch of new people, and not having a backyard anymore. I was really excited about my move, but nothing could have prepared me for living alone. I am responsible for cooking, grocery shopping, and cleaning my entire apartment which is something I wasn’t used to. My sister and I would trade off chores and take turns doing the dishes and vacuuming the house and now I have to do it all. I have learned that I really don’t enjoy cooking since it can be difficult to cook for a party of one. I also no longer have to do chores around the farm and I don’t have any pets of my own since I am not home enough to care for one. This was one of the hardest parts of the big move for me. I miss having my cat curled up at the foot of my bed to wake up to in the morning or make his funny little sounds at me when he wants attention or is hungry. I also miss my family a lot since with being a twin, I haven’t had to be super independent my whole life. There was always my sister around to hang out with me and try new things with me.

Living by myself hasn’t been so bad though now that I’ve been doing it for a while. I live so close to campus that I walk there and there’s always something to do. I have joined a few clubs including Women in Business and the Navigators and have made a couple good friends. I have fallen into a routine where I go to class, attend my club meetings, go to work, and I have friends come over often.

Hannah Goolden and a friend hugging each other.

There are a lot of things to do on and around campus that are a lot of fun. When my friends from home come to visit we always try something new whether it’s a new restaurant or a new activity like the escape rooms on Rowan Blvd. I also fit grocery shopping into my routine and I go at night after I get off work and I make sure to clean my apartment weekly. I still miss my animals and my family sometimes, but going to and living so close to Rowan has given me the opportunity to explore new things and challenge myself to be more independent. I feel like I have a new family now at Rowan within my clubs, classes, and professors.

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