If I've learned anything in college, it's that having the ability to go home whenever I want is a privilege a lot of out-of-state students would do anything to have. I've also learned that taking advantage of this privilege is not necessarily a good habit to get into.
As a college student, going home is always something to look forward to. But how much do we really look forward to something that we experience excessively- like every weekend? Visiting our hometowns can often bring light into our stressful lives; it can even be therapeutic. However, attending a university away from home brings us opportunities that are often destroyed by the continuous decision to pack our weekend bags.
When I chose to attend a school 45 minutes away from my house, I was expected to go back and visit on a regular basis. What may have come as a shock to my family and hometown friends was that going home all the time was the opposite of what I wanted to do, and the opposite of what I would do. This is not because life at home is horrible or because I don't love my family; it's because I have my own life here now, and I'm becoming independent enough to realize that going home holds more value when I do it less often. Family should always be a priority, but because it goes by so fast, so should your college experience.
The friends we make in college are kept close through many weekend experiences. As students, most of our free time is jam-packed into those couple of days at the end of each week that are counted as a break, although we all know they're gone in the blink of an eye. These days, although usually still busy, are all we have when it comes to fun without the constant worry of school in the back of our minds. If we don't spend it with our college friends, the possibilities of what we could be missing out on are endless. Bonds made and kept in college rely heavily on weekend memories, which can't become memories from your bedroom back home.
Getting involved and making connections are also important as a college student. Commuting on a weekly basis can take this aspect away from us, and we will regret those times we missed a good networking opportunity or a chance to boost our resumes because we were eating home-cooked meals.Going home every chance you get leaves you disconnected from the world that is ultimately preparing you for a future of true independence. It also breaks incredible relationships that may be difficult to find after college, which could give you some of the best years of your life. We attend college not just to go through the motions and to receive an education, but to experience the world on our own and to make memories worth sharing with our families when we do go home to see them.