Senior year approaches, and the daunting question of "where are you going to college.." come from family and friends, even those you haven't spoken to for years on end. Responses may vary from close to home, or as far away as I can get. For me -- this decision wasn't so obvious until the month before I graduated high school. Being a student at a large high school in South Carolina, I gained experience with a large student body and making myself known as an individual -- not just a number. It seems as if I have received criticism from those who simply just can't stay away from home. As for me, I chose a college that would give me the best opportunities for the next four years of my life. Listed here, are just a few reasons why I chose to attend college over 200 miles away from home

1. My parents raised me to be independent

While it was not my parents’ first choice to send me to college more than a stone’s throw away from home, they raised me to be independent and self-sufficient. I can successfully schedule my own doctor’s appointments, order checks and shop for groceries – all by myself. Amazing, right?

2. I am not in love with my hometown

As a lifetime member of the Gaffney community – I could never see myself living there for the remainder of my life. I am forever grateful for the experiences, opportunities, and love that each family member and close friends have shown me. Life is all about exploring new horizons, or at least that’s what they say. As for me, I will be located right here, in the heart of the South. Charleston is my new hometown and I will always welcome visitors with open arms!

3. I don't have many friends at home

Attending a fairly large high school, my immediate friend group was rather small. Prior to college, I attended numerous camps and leadership conferences that gave me the opportunity to meet new friends from all around the United States. Through these programs and friendships, I learned that making new friends isn’t as hard as some make it out to be. I am blessed to have a couple of close friends that I still keep in touch with and these friendships will always hold a special place in my heart.

Although, these reasons may seem vague - I am simply aggravated with the negative comments I have received concerning my college choice. I absolutely love the College of the Charleston, and the city of Charleston. Who knows - you may catch me back at home in a few years - only time will tell!