17 Things You'll Learn When You Go To College In Your Hometown

17 Things You'll Learn When You Go To College In Your Hometown

Sometimes living 30 seconds away from your actual home isn't that bad.

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Growing up in a classic Midwestern College town really changed my view on... well, everything. Bowling Green, Ohio is pretty open-minded to most things, really pushes for education, and is known the USA over for the National Tractor Pull competition that is held here every summer. That's right, I said "tractor pull" (look it up if you wish). I always said I would go to school far away from the cornfields of my home and really explore what the world had for me.

But then, I found myself sitting in an orientation at Bowling Green State University, silently loving everything I was hearing. My stubborn self was not about to admit that this was really the place for me. When all was said and done, I moved into my dorm... a whopping four minutes across town from the house I had grown up in.

This first year on the other side of the train tracks (literally) has taught me a lot, so here are 17 of the things I have learned about staying in my lovely little college town.

1. Campus is a completely different world from town

Campus is really its own functioning town; It even has its own zip code. I really had no idea how "far' away from home I would feel in my hometown, and that is exactly what I wanted.

2. Your dog is the one you miss the most

Being a four-minute drive from my dog is truly the best part of college in my hometown, I can't even lie.

3. Move in day is much easier when you don't have to haul everything at once

Living a stone's throw away means that there's no need to pack up the whole room for move-in day when you can bring things gradually over several days. A true advantage.

4. Independence is bliss

The first time you have to go home after spending time being a "grown-up" makes you realize how nice it is to be able to make decisions on your own

5. Independence is a curse

Independence is amazing and all, but sometimes paying the $6 for toilet paper just really makes you wish you were still a kid.

6.  In a small town, you can't escape your high school 'pals' 

A huge amount of kids from my high school stay here for college, some because of the financial benefits, some for a major they really are passionate about, and some because they don't want to put in the effort to look anywhere else. Basically, there's no escaping your old high school cliques when the cliques stay around for college.

7. The back roads are the best roads

When you go to school in the same town you've grown up in you have the advantage of knowing your way around. Sometimes you know that the back roads are the SUPERIOR way of travel, and nobody can convince you otherwise.

8. Upperclassmen may say they live there, but they don't REALLY live there.

You don't get to say you're a townie until you've suffered through all the highs and lows of the town. In BG, that means the Tractor Pull at the low end and the Black Swamp Art Festival at the high end. Get back to me about being a resident after you've been stuck behind a tractor on your way to school in the morning or have really suffered through the worst of the area's weather and THEN we can talk about your townie status.

9. There are real life people who live in your college town

When the college kids say "whoa there's people here?" you get mildly offended because "that's my mom you're talking about!"

10. You know what to expect with the weather 

When you check the weather in the morning, you know what to expect based on what you know about your hometown's weather. When other kids say, "Oh, wow, it's windy" you give them a side eye look because you already know what's up.

11. The cemetery is normal

This may just be a BGSU thing, but there's a cemetery in the center of our campus, and growing up I always just thought it was a normal thing. Turns out other places do not have their town cemetery in the middle of their campus and that kind of weirds some people out.

12. That one big convention is a yearly thing

Being on the other end of town during school season means being face to face with the giant college convention that comes to campus every year. At BG, it's an anime festival, but every campus has at least one.

13. You know when you're paying too much for gas

Another perk of doing all your driving in your hometown means you know how much gas typically costs and where it's cheaper so you get the upper hand when it comes to saving that gas money.

14. Your parents are right there when you need something

No matter if you're having a medical issue, asking an important question, or just really need a hug from your dad, having your parents close has its perks. I really don't know what I would do without my mom bringing me fresh blackberries or my dad not asking any questions when I come over just to get away from the stress of things.

15. There's easy access to your favorite local food

Every college town has that one restaurant that really just hits the spot, and staying home for college means easy access to that comfort food all the time.

16. You learn so much about yourself

I have learned more about myself than I thought I would, and a lot of that comes from being in a new environment. Even though my new environment is the other side of town, It's a completely new perspective of living in your hometown.

17. You learn so much about your town

I have a new found respect and love for my town since I have seen the other side of the college aspect. I have always understood the town's lackluster view of the college kids, but now I totally get the college side of the argument. All in all, living in my college town for the next four years is something I am so glad I chose.

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I Don't Care How Hard Your Major Is, There Is No Excuse Not To Have A Job While In College

If the name on your credit card does not match the name on your birth certificate, then you really need to re-evaluate your priorities.

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We seem to live in a generation where everyone wants to go to college.

It is nice to see that people want to invest in their education, but at what expense? It's easy to commit to a school, and it is even easier to get yourself and your parents into thousands of dollars of debt because you're "living your best life."

To me, it's pathetic if you're over the age of eighteen and you don't have some sort of income or responsibilities outside of homework and attendance. The old excuse, "I want to focus on school," is no longer valid. You can get all A's while having a job, and that has nothing to do with intelligence, but rather your will to succeed. "I don't have time for a job/internship," translates to, "I'm really lazy,".

You don't need to overextend yourself and work forty hours a week, but you should at least work summers or weekends. Any job is a good job. Whether you babysit, walk dogs, work retail, serve tables or have an internship. You need to do something.

"My major is too hard," is not an excuse either. If you can go out on the weekends, you can work.

The rigor of your major should not determine whether or not you decide to contribute to your education. If the name on your credit card does not match the name on your birth certificate, then you really need to re-evaluate your priorities.

Working hard in school does not compensate for having any sense of responsibility.

I understand that not everyone has the same level of time management skills, but if you truly can't work during the school year, you need to be working over the summer and during your breaks. The money you make should not exclusively be for spending; you should be putting it towards books, loans, or housing.

Internships are important too, paid or not.

In my opinion, if you chose not to work for income, you should be working for experience. Your resume includes your degree, but your degree does not include your resume. Experience is important, and internships provide experience. A person working an unpaid internship deserves the same credit as a student working full/part-time.

Though they are not bringing in income for their education, they are gaining experience, and opening up potential opportunities for themselves.

If you go to college just to go to class and do nothing else, then you don't deserve to be there. College is so much more than just turning in assignments, it is a place for mental and academic growth. You need to contribute to your education, whether it is through working for income or working for knowledge or experience.

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College Made Me Feel Like I Can't Have Free Time

Every second that I do have free, I feel like I need to be working on some type of homework.

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There's no doubt that college is taxing on most student's mental health. You get to the point where you feel stressed about even breathing. I have hit the point where I feel like I'm permanently affected by the stress that I've dealt with this semester.

I used to have so much free time. Even in my other semesters, I had time to hang out with my friends, work, and even be lazy when I wanted to be.

I was still a good student, I got all my assignments done on time and I worked hard on them, but I never really had an overwhelming workload.

That is, until this semester. I got to a point where work was overwhelming, I was working longer hours than I was used to, and having to spend every second that I wasn't in class or at work doing homework, whether it was just lengthy math problems or writing multiple essays or scripts.

After months of being in this habit, when my workload from both work and school died down and I actually had free time, I didn't know what to do with myself.

When my friends were busy and I just wanted a relaxing day at home, since I felt like I deserved it, I would try to just lay down and rest, either reading a good book or catching up on all the shows that my stress had caused me to miss.

But there was always a voice in the back of my head reminding me of every upcoming assignment. I would start thinking about the essay due the next week, or a test that I could be studying for ahead of time.

That voice kept telling me I was being unproductive and wasting my time if I wasn't getting ahead on school work when I finally had the time.

And so I'm still in a position, at the end of the semester, where I feel like I'm wasting my time every time I lay down and just want to take a nap because I'm exhausted from running between work and school. I'm trying to fight myself and tell myself that I am allowed to be lazy for at least a little bit, and I don't need to be constantly working.

Hopefully, that voice wins over, especially with summer coming up. With all of the free time, I'll have since I won't have to stress about school, hopefully, I'll be able to better balance my busy days with my lazy days.

I know this is probably an issue for many college students who are overwhelmed with everything that they have to do. Hopefully, summer break is a nice break for all of us and it gives us the chance to get the free time that we all deserve for surviving this semester, and the school year overall.

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