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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For The Grandparents You Lost Before You Were Ready, Because You Never Can Be

We weren't ready and there is so much I wish I could tell you.


You were taken far too soon. It's not fair, I didn't have you for long enough. Why do the bad things happen to the good people?

It's been nine years and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of you. When you left, I had to be strong for mom because she had to take care of everything. But when it was all said and done, I was curled up in the closet crying.

It's been nine years and you've missed so much. You didn't get to see me baptized, start cheerleading, graduate high school, get my first job, or have my first real boyfriend. It hurts to know you won't see me graduate college, get married, or have kids. But, I know you are watching over from Heaven. I can always feel your presence.

It scares me because Kylie was only 6 when you left us. I worry about what she remembers. I'm scared because I can barely remember your voices. But I am thankful because I remember grandpa's love for hats, grandma's love for scrabble, and a shared love of card games. I remember big Christmases, the mess of making chicken and dumplings, running down the hall away from the tickle monster, and most of all, I remember the love you showed me. Your love was overwhelming, safe, and unfaltering.

To you Grandpa and Grandma, Ray and Joy, I miss you, I love you, I hope I do you proud. I will show the love you gave me to as many people as I can. Your memory will live on through the stories we tell and you will never be forgotten.

I'll give mom a hug and kiss for you. I know you'd give us all one. Keep watching over, OK? I love you.

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