Student from Deer Park, NY Finds Home 1,000 Miles Away in Auburn

If you’re looking to move away from your hometown and start a brand new life with people you’ve never met, choosing a college far away from home will be a breeze. For some, moving cross-country and away from family and friends is a tough decision when looking for somewhere to spend the next few years. There are many different reasons students pick colleges away from their hometown and for Toni Ann Cox, Auburn met all the criteria for a home away from home.

“I was looking for a bigger school with a 5-year interior architecture degree, a majorette team, warmer climate, school spirit and a single campus.” Cox, a senior from Deer Park, New York, says about searching for the perfect university.

Cox, the life-long Notre Dame fan, says that she didn’t know anyone coming to or who previously attended Auburn from her hometown. Although some individuals looking for schools might see this as a negative factor, Cox says it positively affected her decision to choose Auburn because she was looking to go somewhere and figure everything out on her own. (Photo, above: Toni Ann Cox)

There are many different ways to find your niche and feel at home when attending a university far from home. You create your own family! The Auburn Family that is. “The Auburn Family to me means that no matter where you come from, this is where you belong. Considering I am very far from home and do not see my family often during the school year, this means a lot. I am often comforted by the fact that I feel like I have a family away from home,” says Cox.

Cox created her own family here in Auburn by getting involved and meeting new people. She was a majorette during her first three football seasons at Auburn and is currently a member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority and the American Institute of Architecture Students.

Of the extracurricular activities Cox has been involved with at Auburn, she says that being a member of a sorority has been her favorite. “It has granted me the opportunity to meet so many people who are supportive of me and always there for me,” she says. And though she’ll never forget the indescribable experience of charging the field each game day in her auburn-colored majorette uniform, she says “it would not be the same without the friends I have made here in the audience to cheer me on.”

On and off the field, there’s nothing quite like game day in Auburn! Cox decided to take a break from being a majorette her senior year and joins the game day experience in the stands with her friends. She says game day is her favorite Auburn experience because of the positive atmosphere and friendly faces she sees at each game. “The traditions here such as the eagle flight, pre-game jog from the marching band, and rolling Toomer’s never fail to put a smile on my face either,” Cox says of Auburn game day traditions. (Photo, left: Cox and her majorette team members)

Although her hometown of Deer Park differs extremely from the lifestyles, sports, food, and atmosphere in Auburn, she’d never change the decision she made to be an Auburn Tiger, even though the rest of her family went to college further north.

The decision to move to a new city and start over for college may be a tough one, but it shouldn’t be off the table. There are countless ways to meet people and enjoy the years away from your past life. Pick a school that your heart knows is best for you even if the distance is a flight away from your new home to your old home.

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