Should I stay or should I go now?
May 19, 2017
Staying in state offers comfort
There’s no place like home. What better time than college to apply this valuable life lesson? Today many students are faced with countless college opportunities. Ranging from those fortunate enough to gain scholarships that accelerate them to all parts of the country to those who wish to study abroad, the sky’s the limit when deciding on where to settle for the next four years of your education. So why would you ever settle for home? Contrary to popular belief, there are many benefits to staying in state for college.
Let’s be honest, the colleges surrounding your home are never as glamorous as the idea of experiencing a whole new life in a city far away. Oftentimes, many students dismiss the resources and grand opportunities right in front of them because of this fact. However, whether campus is two hours away or ten minutes, each college campus has its own environment. It is an atmosphere that most students find is dramatically different from their hometown despite the distance.
Furthermore, costs play a major role in utilizing the resources of your home state. Most states in the U.S. want to keep their students in their home state, resulting in cheaper tuition for in state residents and various scholarships and financial benefits for those who choose to stay in state. Not only are state universities more lenient financially on their in-state residents, but choosing to commit to a college close to home also saves students the financial burden of travel and living expenses.
Finally, many students claim they want to attend college far from home for the experience, not because they actually see themselves living in that new environment years down the road. Realistically, where you go to college plays a huge role in where students will eventually be hired and thus must live. For many student’s life, aspects such as being near their families is important, therefore it only makes sense to chose a college and ultimately a career that accommodates this value.
Staying in state for college was without question the best option for me. Having lacked any of the skills that stand out, I was denied the perks of massive scholarships and recruitments. Therefore utilizing my resources from home were a necessity to my college success. In state universities provided me with financial benefits such as allowing me to save on room and board costs by commuting, residential perks such as tuition deductions and provided all the comforts of home.
So let’s face it, twenty years from now no one is going to care where you got your undergraduate degree. So long as you are a responsible and talented individual you will be hired. So do not discredit the colleges closest to you as not being cool because they are original or feel the pressure to attend an Ivy League school due to its reputation.
Out of state broadens horizons
College is the first time for many students to find a home away from home. As the school year comes to a close, seniors are preparing to grasp their new independence and juniors are beginning to consider their post-high school options. So as the graduating class’ college decisions come to fruition, here is some advice to the rising seniors who will soon be thrown into the tumult of college preparation.
An early disclaimer: regardless of what college you go to, the educational resources and opportunities available are only limited by a student’s willingness to search.
However, education – while it may be the primary focus – is just part of the experience of moving on to college. A larger aspect is broadening your experience as a scholar, citizen, and emerging adult. The greatest benefit of an out-of-state education comes with the relative diversity that it holds.
Growing up in Arizona, I can say the speeding drivers, scorching summers, and Southern culture have all shaped me as person. But, the opportunity to live in another environment filled with new culture, climate, and people offers an expansion of the mind in the same way that my home state had. It is a misconception that when someone moves out of state they are cutting ties with family and friends; trading old for new. However, it is more akin to embracing new influences, each of which builds upon the personality you are adapting as an adult.
Considering the experience one will have garnered over four years, an out-of-state environment allows one to build both professional and personal relationships in multiple states. It is this network of connections that allows one to establish not only their own identity, but to establish points of home far beyond that of actual residence. After all, home is the collection of people that we give importance to and building this “home” well beyond the boundaries of familiarity expands the places one can incorporate within their own personality.
One of the turn-offs of an out-of-state college is the drastic change associated with moving away. Aside from the normal practices of leaving home, having to take one’s own responsibilities and learn how to do laundry, going out of state holds the small addition of of being possibly thousands of miles away from family. While a daunting prospect, this compels a greater need for maturity and independence. Not only are you learning the new culture of college, but in a new environment.
Personally, I had concluded that my next four years would be spent almost 2,100 miles away from the state that I had grown up in. This opportunity also presented itself as a fresh start. Being thrust into the completely unknown may be a shock initially, but life is about adapting to new waters, crossing new oceans.