4 Reasons Why You Should Move Away For College

4 Reasons Why You Should Move Away For College

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For many high school graduates, the thought of uprooting life and attending a college hours away from home sounds pretty intimidating. Leaving a familiar town, life-long friends and your devoted parents seems rather unappealing to many who would rather enjoy the comfort and connections closer to home.

However, many of us who chose to venture away from the nest - even just a few hours north or south - can agree that it was one of the best decisions we have ever made.

1. Gaining Independence

To start off with the most obvious reason, going away to college makes you more independent. One of the greatest skills you can learn is how to deal with situations without Mom and Dad rushing to your aid. While they are only a phone call away (and I still use that phone call for reassurance in many situations), they are not physically close by to take care of things for you. Instead, you put on your grown-up pants, research solutions to the problem, and make a mature decision. Finding a part-time job to make your own money can also help you to feel more in control of your life. The independence thing is definitely some work, but it also feels very rewarding to know you don't need Mommy or Daddy to hold your hand through things anymore.

2. Finding That Sweet Freedom

Along with this new independence comes a refreshing dose of freedom. For the first time in your life, you have the ability to start over. You are in a new town with a different culture and your family is no longer involved in every decision you make. This freedom should not solely be used for partying and wallet-draining antics, but rather to find the activities that interest you, the best types of friends to surround yourself with, and the direction you want your life to take. Moving away to school can be a rewarding experience that makes peer pressure a thing of the past and allows you to become who you truly want to be.

3. Broadening Your Horizons

If you are not persistent in branching out, going to college close to home can make it tempting to stick with the people you knew from high school who have similar interests and lifestyles. In contrast, going away to college exposes you to new people from different walks of life. I go to a school just two hours from my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. While this isn’t a very far distance, I have already been exposed to people who were raised very differently from me (currently picturing the mortified looks I received when I told people I attended an all-girl high school). For example, my roommate last year was from a farming family in rural Kentucky. Since I am a city gal who can barely operate my family's lawnmower, hearing stories about her family's farming business and the various animals that run around in her own backyard was actually quite entertaining. Even the smallest amount of distance can help you encounter a new group of people who bring you out of your hometown bubble.

4. Networking, Networking, Networking

Cue the groans. We've all heard a million times that networking is the key to success during and after college. While this can be annoying and a bit intimidating when constantly preached, a huge part of success is inevitably about your connections. If you plan on establishing yourself and your career in your hometown, then attending college close to home is perfect for you to network right there. However, if you have aspirations of venturing to faraway cities to find your dream job one day, moving away from home for college can connect you with a wider variety of employers, professors, and advisors who can provide you with guidance and experience. Building relationships with these people can prove to be a huge advantage when it comes time to apply for internships and jobs.

Now I’m not saying everyone should move away from home for college. We all have different aspirations and staying close to home does NOT make you unambitious. There are plenty of people who go to college in their hometown and have found endless opportunities and satisfaction from the experience. However, to those of you who want to try moving away but feel scared to leave that place of comfort and familiarity, I say take the plunge. It definitely won't always be sunshine and rainbows but if you give it time, the fear of leaving your roots will be replaced with the courage to try new things and experience life for all its worth. Listen to your inner fight song (mine happens to be "Roar" by Katy Perry) and believe that you can independently thrive in even the most unfamiliar places. Adventure is out there, but you have to be brave enough to find it.

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Poetry On The Odyssey: Chasing Daffodils

My Vision Is Clear

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In the day we chase daffodils

cradling their petals oh so delicately

as they fan their beauty in the sunlight

we hold white knuckled hands

ambling through the meadow

care free

but as the sky grows dark

and our vision blurs

that hand grows claws

painful to the touch, we release each other

and take off,

running so swiftly from the bears and the wolves and the vultures

that we forget to open our eyes

and find strength in each other

To combat these demons

with the force of a thousand warriors,

instead of silhouettes dancing in the night

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