While there are many difficult questions that high school seniors have to answer about college, one of the most challenging is “Should I go to college close to home or far away?” There are many benefits and drawbacks to each answer, some of which are discussed below.
When thinking about where to go to college, it’s important to take your personal values into account; no one can give you a better answer than the one that you have to come up with yourself.
Close to Home
If you choose to go to college close to home, you’ll have many distinct advantages.
People are more likely to stay closer to home than go farther away, so you’ll probably be closer to your high school friends (not all of them, of course, but most). This makes adjusting to a new social life easier. The same is true with your family; you’ll still be able to see your parents and your siblings on a fairly regular basis.
You may think that this is a drawback of going to college close to home, but after a few years, you’ll come to see it as an advantage. If nothing else, you’ll certainly appreciate the fact that you can eat and do laundry for free at home!
The drawbacks to going to college close to home are closely related to the advantages:
- Because you’re closer to your friends from high school, it will be more difficult to grow socially. There are many people who don’t meet very many new friends in college because they are too attached to their high school friends (especially if many of them went to the same school).
- Being close to your family can detract from the feeling of independence that you get from going away to school. This depends largely on your relationship with your family, but it’s something to consider.
If you choose to go to college far away from you home, you’ll realize some important benefits.
First and foremost, you’re stepping way out of your comfort zone; this always helps you to learn more about yourself and develop your personality.
Living in a new city is always a very socially, academically, and professionally educational experience. Every city has its own personality, and it can be a lot of fun learning about how to live in a new place.
In the same way, making a new group of friends can be a very enjoyable and rewarding experience, especially if this is something you feel comfortable with. If it’s not, this can be a great way to learn how to make friends and become more social.
Going to college far away, while it can be a lot of fun, can also be very stressful.
- Being put in a new situation with a large group of people that you’ve never met can be difficult to adjust to.
- Most universities do a good job of introducing students to each other and helping to form friend groups, but you’ll still have to put forth effort.
- Being far away from your family can exacerbate this stress by making you feel slightly isolated. These are feelings that go away, but the first couple weeks can be pretty tough.
What it really comes down to is what you want to do and feel is right. There’s no right answer to this question. Give it some time, reflect on what you really want to do, and make your decision. We have every confidence that you’ll make the right one!