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March 7, 2012 / NextStepU

The benefits of going to school close to home

I’ll admit it: when I was a senior in high school I wasn’t ready to go to college. I was happy in high school, I had some really great friends and I was content in my comfort zone. But decision time rolled around faster than I was expecting and when the time came to decide I picked a campus only about 20 minutes from my house.

There's no place like it.

Despite my closeness to home, I did manage to take a step out of the ordinary; I decided to live on campus. People have asked me before why I spend the money to live on campus when I could live at home. The answer is simple: I needed to learn to manage on my own. I needed to get out of my house; I needed to stop having to depend on my parents and I needed to experience everything that college had to offer. I still don’t regret that decision for a second.

Now that I’ve gotten older, I’ve accepted the fact that change is actually a good (if still scary) thing. There are times where I wish I had gone farther away, even out of state just to experience that different environment while I still had the opportunity. But there are still a lot of advantages to staying close to home. When I got the flu my freshman year, it was only a miserable 20-minute car ride away from my own bed and mom’s soup. When I forget something at home (which is often), my parents don’t have to spend 15 bucks sending it back to me. And I can only imagine how much money I’ve saved in gas over the past three years.

When it comes for you to decide where you want to go to college, consider not just how you feel now, but think about how you’re going to feel four years down the road. Are you going to be homesick? Are you going to want a big adventure? Don’t put off your college planning just because you don’t want to think about it.

It is, after all, the greatest time of your life.

Until next time,

Laura the Intern
writer@nextstepu.com
facebook.com/nextstepmag
Message me on the Community Boards! (I’m InternLaura)

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