I Go To College 10 Minutes Away From Home And I'm Still Independent

I Go To College 10 Minutes Away From Home And I'm Still Independent

I'm a firm believer that distance is all in our heads.

The transition from high school to college is usually pretty big to most freshman. They’re about an hour from their family and friends and everything they grew up with. That’s not the case for me though, as I live a town over, and it takes a total of 10 minutes to drive from my house to my dorm. When I tell people that, they usually ask me if I go home a lot since it’s so close. And my answer usually surprises them. I go home for holidays of course, but otherwise, I’ve maybe gone home about 3 times between the months of September and February.

Throughout my high school years and even now, people would say that they couldn’t see themselves living that close to home because they wouldn’t be independent. But that’s not what I’m experiencing.

It’s different for everyone, but I do not feel as though being this close to home is keeping me from being independent. I have a great relationship with my parents and my sister, and being away from them can be sad sometimes, but I manage. I’m still far enough away to not run to them for help and make my own decisions, but I’m also close enough to visit them whenever it is convenient.

During my time here I’ve noticed that a good percent of people go home on the weekends or whenever I can, some of them live about 40 minutes away, others maybe 2 hours. I’ve noticed that people who live about three times further from their hometown go home more than I do.

My dad works at the college I attend and my sister also attends Gustavus, and I don’t even see them most days. It is nice to visit them sometimes, but I am fully capable of having space from them.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s not impossible to be independent so close to home. I am living proof of that statement. If you really love a college but you’re worried that it’s too close, don’t let that little factor get in the way of your decision. You’re going to spend around 4 years of your life at college, you should go to one you really enjoy. The distance is really all in your head. Maybe your parents would beg you to come home if you were so close, but you have the power to tell them that you want to get the whole college experience and grow as your own person. It’s not always that simple, but it can be.

I was nervous about college being too close to home when I was searching for colleges, I avoided it actually, but in the end I knew that Gustavus was the college for me and I put those worries aside and made the decision to come here. All the worries I had before proved to not be true, and I’ve never been happier with my choice.

Cover Image Credit: Kathleen O'Brien

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10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.


1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten

Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

Cover Image Credit: Authors Photos

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To My Little Sister, Don't Wish For Time To Move Faster, Soak Up The Stage Of Life You're In

Live in the moment and you will come out having no regrets.


To my best friend,

Time goes by quickly, do not wish it away. Enjoy living in the moment you are in right now because you will never get it back. Stop wishing you were in college already because you have so much to live for right now.

I know all you want to do is get away from home and start over, which is normal because I wanted to do the same thing at your age. But as your older sister, and as someone who has gone through that stage already, I am here to tell you that it is not all rainbows and sunshine 24/7.

With the time you have left in high school, enjoy every second of it because eventually, you will come to miss it.

Graduation is just around the corner for you and it honestly freaks me out how fast time is going. And it only goes faster in college. As kids, all we wanted was to be in high school and be able to drive on our own and once we hit high school, all we want is to be in college. With almost being in college for two years, I can easily say that all I want is to be a kid again. We have been wishing our whole lives away since we can remember. Enjoy today.

I see so much potential in you and I am beyond excited for what the future has in store for you.

Many times, you have been the one to give me advice even though I'm the older sister and this shows how caring and loving you are. Life is going to treat you so well and it already has.

There is one piece of advice I must give to you though. Make sure to thank mom and dad and tell them you love them as often as possible. I know they can get on your nerves and may make you angry at times, but they have given us the best life. You will learn in college just how much they love us and how much they have given up just to make us happy.

You have a good head on your shoulders and I know life is going to turn out to be exactly what you wanted. Just don't wish it all away. Some of my favorite times were when I was a senior in high school.

I'm always looking out for you so don't ever think you are alone in this crazy world. Remember, I am just one phone call away.

I love you so much sis, you got this.

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