Going to a school where the students come from all over the country, while I'm a short thirty minutes away, can be a mixed blessing for sure. Headed into my first year at Villanova, I did not expect to meet people from so far and wide. San Francisco, Arizona, New Orleans, Long Island, Missouri, Chicago, Texas- these students really did come from everywhere. So let me break down the real pros and cons of being from close by when it seems everyone else hails from far away.
1. Con: It feels like everyone is automatically cooler than you for coming from some place far away.
When I come from suburban Pennsylvania and also go to school in suburban Pennsylvania, and I look at people coming here from across the country... I just feel lame. Why didn't I choose a school way off somewhere where I become the neat adventurer from a far away land?
2. Con: You miss out on a sense of adventure and excitement that comes from moving far away from home.
It's definitely, for many, an exciting adventure to begin living in a new and different place than you grew up in. Yes, college is a foreign place for every incoming student, but there is something extra exciting about experiencing a completely new state or coast of the county!
3. Con: Missing out on a chance to really broaden your horizons and expand your perspective.
Going to a far away city or state for college definitely allows for a lot of personal growth, added independence, and a wider perspective.
4. Con: You lack anonymity.
Going to school far away from home allows you an opportunity to start over with complete anonymity. No one knows who you were in high school or the things you've done in the past. It's a completely fresh start, and more so than if a few other high school peers chose the same college as you.
5. Pro: You can go home for fun special occasions pretty easily.
If I so choose, I can catch family spaghetti dinner, birthday parties, or my sister's prom with just the generous pick-up from mom or dad. I don't have to miss something important that I really want to be there for. And it's always good to get a reminder of the importance of these quality family times, and not to get bogged down in the hustle and bustle of college student life.
6. Pro: Mom and Dad are around for quick favors.
During my first year at college, it seemed like every time I went home for a break, I would forget something ever so essential for survival (i.e. my Swell, my favorite leggings, my phone charger). So, if need be, my parents were willing to pick me up so I could get whatever I left behind, spend the night, and be driven back the next day. Even this year, my mom came on a Wednesday afternoon to take me shopping for a business casual outfit for a last-minute interview. My parents (and living so close to home) are saviors, really.
7. Pro: Easier to pack, travel, and move in/out each year.
Who wants to worry about shoving everything in storage when you leave for the summer? Who wants to stress over keeping airplane luggage under fifty pounds? Not me! Living so close and being able to drive to and from campus means I don't have to be so harsh on limiting myself on packing the clothes, snacks, and shoes I want! Maybe this one is also a little dangerous...
8. Pro: More likely to stay closer to high school friends!
This isn't true for absolutely everybody, but for the most part, you are likely have more opportunities to see high school besties at their new schools. It's always super fun and exciting to take a train or car ride to spend a weekend with friends. If you're on the other side of the country on the other hand, not so easy.