As my last chapter ends in my hometown, a new chapter begins. I am anticipating this new journey ahead and can't wait to see what the future has in store for me. I didn't have the typical college career, going away at 18 years old, attending undergrad for four years and graduating on time. Now finally, I am making to move up to school and getting ready to graduate. While commuting, the most common questions would be "So... why are you choosing to commute?" and "How much longer are you staying here?"
My question is: why is it so crazy that I decided to commute? Maybe I just knew I wasn't ready to be on my own yet. I never really liked the idea of dorming and I liked the option of having a great education nearby my home. I didn't have the constant distraction of college parties, so my grades benefited from it; and most importantly, I was financially better off. Now being more mature, I know I made the right choice.
So, this is for the freshman that are going through what I did.
Going to a community college or commuting to a local university does not represent how smart you are. You are not doing anything wrong. Everyone is different, and sometimes going away the first year can be too much. Instead of just jumping into a school you aren't sure you want to be in, you are making the better choice staying home and figuring yourself out.
To be blunt: Screw the people that say you'll miss out on the "college experience." Sure, it's fun to go to parties and socialize every once in a while (which is why visiting friends comes in handy) but it's easy to overdo it. The temptation of going out and partying before an exam and skipping classes can be too much for an 18-year-old that isn't mature enough yet. Are all 18 year olds like that? Absolutely not, we all mature at different times. From what I've seen, not many people are mature their freshman year, and you will see these people fall back because of it.
It's OK to want to choose a different path than what everyone else is doing. Your happiness is most important; do whichever is best for you and your education. In the end, we go to college to get our degrees and get jobs in what we want to do. It isn't about rushing for greek life, going to parties and moving out. While all those are still great and fun, don't feel like you're missing out. Do what is best for you.
Commuting is not something to be embarrassed of. It's just as great of choice as going away to school. Do what is best for you and what is best for your future.