Wednesday, May 16, 2012

5 Reasons Why You Should Go Out of State for College

As many of my close friends have been busy with graduation ceremonies and parties, I can't help but think about the major impact college has made on my life. College is a major decision for anyone. Out of your high school graduating class the majority of your classmates will attend a local, in-state university. Either a small "starter" school or a mindbogglingly large state college that's close to home. Being close to home is nice, you can go home on weekends, see your old friends, have your mom do your laundry for free, all while staying in your comfort zone. I, however, believe that going out of state to college is the best choice that any bright, free-craving, 18 year old could make. 

1. You'll grow up 
Don't know how to do laundry? 2 weeks after arriving to school, you'll open your underwear drawer to find that Mom didn't do laundry! Oh wait...Mom isn't here anymore. Along with learning to do laundry, you'll learn from your mistakes, the hard way. Things that your Mom has been badgering you about, but you thought she didn't know what she was talking about. Things like not eating raw Pillsbury cookie dough, not staying up until 4 a.m. and then trying to go to class all day, cleaning your room, etc. Although learning the hard way is never fun, I can promise you, lessons learned the hard way will stick with you. This is all what growing up is about, discovering what being responsible, moral, and self-sufficient means, in your terms.       

2. You'll be wiser
Duh, that's why we go to college, to learn! Obviously you will you learn more about school knowledge, but you'll also learn how to study, learn how to manage time, and learn how to be more responsible. In college I learned how to study and take tests; Up until then I had no idea how to properly study for an exam. It made me a more disciplined and organized person, because frankly I had to be. It wasn't like high school where it wasn't costing me a penny to tool around and fail tests. In college you are paying money out the wazoo to fill your brain to the brim, so you take advantage of it. Book knowledge isn't the only wisdom you'll gain. You'll learn how to handle people who have different prospectives than you might have. At Asbury there were people from all over the United States, and the world for that matter who attended school. Through class discussions and friendships, I have a much broader range of perspective than many of my hometown friends. All of my high school friends, were raised by conservative, Christian, higher middle class families. We all generally agreed on the same issues because of the similar situation in which we were all raised. It's not a bad thing, its just how our mindsets were established. None of us were questioned or confronted with outside, challenging impressions. At College you have class debates and discussions with professors and students who see things differently. You get first hand experience, viewpoint, and examples on why they respectfully disagree. We're all entitled to our opinion. I think it would be impossible to not to expand on your views after discovering how profoundly eye opening it might be!

3. You'll be adventurous 
I promise you, all of your friends that stay around home for college will be tempted to go home every weekend, and I can understand why. Its hard making new friends. It isn't any fun being "the new kid" at the lunch table. Their mom will do their laundry, and they'll hang out with the same old high school friends. When they graduate, they'll only apply for jobs near home. Then, they'll complain when they can't get a job. They'll live in their moms basement. After you move away from home, live on your own, graduate, get a job in another city, work hard, and none of it will be a big deal. Because you have already taken the first step. My friend Krysti applied to every hospital in the United States for an internship. When I asked her where she hoped she would get into, she simply shrugged her shoulders and said that anywhere could be cool. Friends who stay in Pennsylvania would only apply to hospitals in Pennsylvania. Then, if they wouldn't get in they would simply wait until they could apply again, even if it took months of being stuck in limo while working at Applebee's to make ends meet. The very minute an in state graduate talks about moving out of state, families go crazy. It is literately a mammoth deal. Being able to "think bigger" and see outside of the box will become a no brainer. 

4. You'll learn about yourself
The only you, you have known up until now has been the person that has lived with family, and has a certain stereotype in school (which sucks, but it happens whether we like it or not). Getting out of state gives you a whole new fresh start that you won't get if you stay around your old stomping grounds. In high school I  probably would have been voted "Most Likely to Quit College," but when I arrived at Asbury University I was more than thrilled to lose that careless, class clown stigma. Yeah, I was known as the prankster on the hall, but I cared about my grades, I was involved, and met all my required deadlines; I was a different girl. College made me into the person I am today. I grew up, I gained knowledge, had new perspectives, I was ready to go anywhere in the world to follow my dreams. All of these things were because I went away to college. I learned who I was, what I wanted in life, and acquired the ability and confidence to get there.  

5. You'll have best friends for life
Unless you're super awkward or something.
Yeah staying up way too late, going to Taco Bell instead of studying, and playing pranks aren't always the best choices, but dang do they make the best memories. I can't say enough about how grateful and truly blessed I am to have met all of the wonderful people while at school. I loved everything about living in the dorm. The friends and community that were there felt like a family. At first, when everything that was once familiar was so far away, these people became my family. It still amazes me that people from so many different diverse places can still have so much in common. These people laugh and cry with you through all of the highest of highs, and lowest of lows. Your future children will call these people "Auntie" or "Uncle." It's completely different than Friday night sleepovers with your old BFF from high school. These friendships are the ones that stay with you long after you walk across the stage. They become so intricately apart of you, you would lose apart of yourself if you didn't stay in contact. I know I will have these friends in my life...well...for forever. All of the student loans in the world couldn't come close to replacing these amazing people now in my life, all because I went away to college.

Being out of state has its cons too. You'll probably end up paying more money, since out of state kids don't qualify for that specific states' grants. Also, any scholarships you might receive from your home state probably won't be able to be used in another state. In this economy that is a big factor that sway a lot of peoples' decisions on where to attend. But, having connections in two different states can give you broader job opportunities, which is the obvious goal after working hard to graduate. You might miss your family, but for me it made being home that much sweeter. You'll make friends that will become your extended family. I am a truly a transformed person for the better. I can promise you, if you do decide to take the leap to attend college outside of what you know as home, you will never regret it. 

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