For many of us out of state kids, there is always the little monster in the back of our heads that says "if I weren't out of state I'd be able to do _____," especially at the holidays. Here is a list of all the pros and cons that we all go through this time of year.
Pro 1: You get to see a whole new city decorated for Christmas.
If you've grown up in the same area all of your life the Christmas decorations aren't really super fascinating when you've seen them year after year. Living in a new city lets you see a whole new city at Christmas.
Con 1: You don't get to decorate the tree with your family.
Unless your family is the kind that decorates on Thanksgiving or before, you usually will miss decorating your Christmas tree and the house with your family. It's always a little sad to go home at Christmas and the decorations are already up.
Pro 2: You get to shop for your family without them finding it.
When you live away from your family for most of the holidays you can shop for your family and friends' gifts without risking them finding it. No more having to shop and hide them in the closet and your mom or sibling seeing the shopping bags and ruining the surprises.
Con 2: You have to pack up your whole life and trek it across the country.
Traveling back and forth between home and school can be frustrating, to say the least. Especially when you live more than 5 hours from school, planning to leave requires days of packing and a day of traveling just to make it back home. Leaving something behind is not an option, so cars and suitcases are filled to the brim.
Pro 3: You and your school friends get to start your own traditions.
The holidays are the perfect time to start friend traditions where you can all gather together and celebrate. When you've only got your friends when you're out at school they become like family, so these new traditions make you feel more at home.
Con 3: You miss out on hometown events.
If you're from like a small town like me, being at school at the beginning of the holidays mean you have to miss out on a lot of hometown events, like the Christmas Parades, Tree Lighting Ceremony and small business shopping nights. Those are the busiest days of the year for my town and missing it always is hard.
Pro 4: You get to get far far away and relax after finals.
Nothing is better than lying in your own bed after a long two weeks of stress and finals. Going home and being able to unwind and relax is the best way to end a semester of being away.
Con 4: You miss out on doing fun holiday things with your friends from school.
When you go home for almost exactly a month you miss out doing fun Christmas and New Year's activities with your friends you made at school. Going home is always great but you're not able to drive an hour or so to see friends who live in-state.
Pro 5: You get home cooked meals for every meal.
No more having TV dinners and frozen breakfasts, or having to go to the dining halls for all of your meals. Going back home for break means you actually get to sit down and enjoy a home-cooked meal every night instead of sitting at your desk and eating in between homework assignments.
Con 5: You're always the first one back in the spring.
Just as it is every year, the time to go back to school comes way too soon and out of state kids are always the first ones back. We have to plan out what day we decide to trek back to school, and it is usually well before the rest of the school comes back.