Students Continue to Learn while Living Out of State

A+photo+of+a+flyer+soliciting+homeowners+in+the+92705+area+of+Santa+Ana.+The+flyer+was+delivered+by+First+Team+Real+Estate+of+Yorba+Linda+on+March+1%2C+2021.+

Joyce Feuerborn

A photo of a flyer soliciting homeowners in the 92705 area of Santa Ana. The flyer was delivered by First Team Real Estate of Yorba Linda on March 1, 2021.

By Ashley Cortez, Godinez Fundamental High School

Texas and South Carolina are miles away from California but it didn’t stop two students from staying connected. Indys Lopez and Lizeth Fuentes Ramirez are both students at Godinez Fundamental High School (GFHS), who are now living in a different state while still students in the Santa Ana Unified School District. 

Packing up their bags and leaving everything behind to start a new life out of state wasn’t always the plan. But COVID-19 was one of  many factors why Lopez and Ramirez had to move. 

Many Californians have made the move to different states due to high taxes, housing costs, and overall, the high cost of living in California.  

On the real estate app, Zillow, the cost to buy a four bedroom, two bath 1,900 sq. ft. home in Orange, Calif., is $799,000. Compared to an Arlington, Texas, house of 1,924 sq. ft. with four bedrooms and two bathrooms that is currently for sale at $305,000. 

“Texas is the number one destination for people who leave California,” said realtor Sterling Anderson from First Team Real Estate who distributes flyers to local Orange County homeowners who may be looking to move. 

Californians have also moved to Oregon, Washington, and Nevada for their lower costs of living.

GFHS senior Indys Lopez smiling all the way from Charleston, S.C.
(Courtesy of Indys Lopez)

Lopez never thought she would spend her senior year in the city of Charleston, S.C. Both of her parents lost their jobs due to the global pandemic and decided to move to Charleston to gain stable jobs and a home they could afford.

“Everything at first was so different and I kind of struggled because I didn’t know where anything was and everything is so different from California,” said Lopez.

The family left to join Lopez’s dad during Thanksgiving break. It was the best option for her sister and herself and more job opportunities for her parents than in California. 

For Lopez, learning how to manage the three hour time difference with online school in California and working with her dad in construction, is one of the biggest challenges. Lopez works for her uncle’s company, cleaning dust out of houses that are under construction.

53% of Californians consider moving due to the high cost of living. Many Californians, especially in the Bay Area, do consider moving to different states if they can work from home. 

Companies like Tesla and Oracle and celebrities such as Joe Rogan and Elon Musk are leaving California and moving to Texas. 

For Ramirez, moving to Arlington, Texas, during the middle of her junior year wasn’t simple. Ramirez had to adjust to different challenges that were thrown at her in a new environment. But going to a new school wasn’t one of those challenges. Ramirez is finishing out the rest of her junior year, online at GFHS.

There is the two-hour time difference that can be rough to complete assignments by their deadlines. Ramirez also has to go to her uncle’s house, who also lives in Arlington, Texas, to get internet access in order to do homework before and after school, which is aggravating.

GFHS junior Lizbeth Fuentes Ramirez in her house in Arlington, Texas.
(Courtesy of the Ramirez family)

“I know we are going through hard times but I try to keep my head up because I know we have to keep on going,” said Ramirez. 

Saying goodbye to family, soccer and her teammates, friends, and her school wasn’t the easiest to leave behind.

Despite all the miles and hours, online school can be one of the only ways for students to stay connected through these new experiences.

“I think learning through online school can be helpful, now that students can be flexible with their time, and I think it can help them in a different way,” said GFHS teacher Monique Statler.

Statler has students that are learning out of state and describes how learning online is easier, but students have to be flexible. Not being able to pick up materials from school when they are assigned is one of the most challenging parts of not living in California. 

Leaving all their friends, sports, and school to start a new life and start over in a different city and state can be tough. 

For Ramirez, the move made her happy because it helped her gain a new experience but for the upcoming school year, she will be going into her senior year at a new high school.

Lopez is happy that she moved to South Carolina since she has always lived in California. Before attending the University of South Carolina, where she was recently accepted and will major in nursing, she will be coming back in May to graduate with her fellow classmates. 

This story was originally published on Grizzly Gazette on March 31, 2021.