As a senior in high school, I was naïve and struggled to determine the reasons to move away for college. I was frightened to begin a life of my own without my parents. However, at the same time, I was eager to reside in a new area, connect with unfamiliar people, and develop individuality. Although many people doubt themselves abundantly, they eventually discover these reasons to move away for college and thrive in the experience.
Of the many reasons to move away for college, development of responsibility may be the most beneficial. In college, your parents aren’t present to nag you to go to class, do your laundry, or clean your dorm room. When you no longer live under your parents’ roof, you are fully responsible for decision making and conducting your life choices. You are forced to be responsible simply because you must do everything for yourself. With the absence of your parents, you will realize how prominent of a role they played in your life. It will be difficult, but living without them is what will transform you into an adult.
2. Meet New People
All of my friends that stayed home and attended the community college maintained friendships with people from high school and essentially made no new friends. This isn’t necessarily bad, but a significant aspect of college is your social life. While you still should remain friends with people from your past, it is important to meet new people and create new memories. When you go away to college, you find friendships in your classes, clubs, the cafeteria, the party scene, and many other places. In this new phase of your life, it’s a wonderful pleasure to create lifelong friendships.
3. Leave Your Hometown
I know this seems like a given, but it’s really a bigger deal than you’d think. The biggest difficulty I’ve witnessed amongst kids who stayed home for college is the fact that they’re unable to abandon their past. For most, high school is not completely awful, but it’s only four years for a reason. An important point in moving away is to have a chance to find yourself and be whoever you want to be. People that remain in their hometown often find themselves bored with the lack of change in their life. At age 18, new scenery, peers, and lifestyle are remarkably refreshing!
4. Value the Importance of Saving
Depending on your financial situation at home, this will be different for everyone. However, no matter whom you relied on for money in high school (parents, immediate family, yourself), if you needed a few dollars, chances are someone was there to spot you. In a college far from home, when your bank account reaches zero, it’ll stay that way until you do something about it. Whether that be calling your dad to transfer money or working at the cafeteria, you will quickly learn to savor your money. You will learn how to distinguish between things you need and things you don’t need. This is an important life lesson!
5. Live with Others
Unless you had a particularly unique childhood, you probably grew up living with your family. The biggest change college has to offer is the removal of your parents and siblings from your everyday life. Roommates replace them! Whether you absolutely adore the company of your roommates or loathe it, being constantly surrounded by people who grew up dissimilar to you is an informative learning experience. Even if your roommate is someone you’ve known forever, she will likely have rituals, habits, and interests you are unaware of. The college experience will teach you how to learn to coexist with others different to you.
6. Campus Life
This may not apply to some, but in most cases "staying home for college" means going to a community college. This robs you of the chance to experience school spirit and be immersed in the beauty of a college campus. I really enjoy walking to class and seeing only kids my age. College is seemingly the last chance of youthful fun before most people move on to full-time professions and adulthood. Students on campus all have the common goal of enjoying themselves until they receive their diploma. Relish in it while you can, and move to a place full of peers you can relate to!
This is the most pleasurable aspect of moving away for college. You no longer have to surrender to the nagging of your parents or guardians. Although this may be dangerous, you can do things you normally wouldn’t be allowed to without people telling you not to. You can choose when to schedule your classes, eat your meals when you want to, and go out whatever night(s) you please. Sure, people who stay home still experience freedom however, if you leave home, it is much more intense because no one can question what you’re doing and when you’re doing it.
There are many pros and cons of both staying home and going away to college, but this is just what I’ve collected from my experience! Have any of you moved away for college? Did you enjoy it, or do you wish you had stayed home?