I was born and raised in Cincinnati. I grew up bleeding red and black at UC football and basketball games, and Clifton was practically my second home. My entire family has gone to the University of Cincinnati and so when the time came to choose a college they all encouraged me to go "wherever my heart desired", but that really meant "you have to go to UC". Luckily for me, that is where my heart desired. I love UC. I have always loved UC. But, for some reason UC gets a bad reputation from people around Cincinnati. Most of my friends from high school didn't even bother to look at UC. "It's so close to home", they complained as they scrunched up their noses in disgust. Then they went off to jet set across America, only to be ridiculously homesick and transfer back here.
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Sure, UC is only 30 minutes away from my childhood bedroom, but why is that considered a bad thing? So many people have this stigma about staying in their hometowns for college. But let's set the record straight: staying in your hometown is the best thing in the entire world. When I was a freshman, I caught mono. I called my mom crying on the night before Halloween because I couldn't even get myself out of bed. And my loving mother came and picked me up from my dorm in thirty minutes and brought me home to my amazingly comfortable bed and set me up with every Disney movie and all my favorite foods. Can your mom do that if you're in California? I didn't think so. And I got to go home and do my laundry instead of wasting my quarters in a smelly, scary basement. I got home-cooked meals whenever I wanted them and I could have a mini-escape when my roommate was being psychotic.
Thirty minutes doesn't seem like a lot, but it can be, if you want it to be. I think a lot of people have a misconception about college, at least a lot of seniors in high school do. They have just spent the past 18 years under their parents' roof, under their parents' rules, and under the constant watch of their parents. So, when college comes around, they want the freedom. They want to move far away because then their parents can't come and check up on them if their 3,000 miles away! But, your parents aren't going to just randomly check up on you. Never did my mother just pop up at my dorm. Like, that's not a thing. Sure, my mom would constantly call me to make sure I was alive, but she didn't just show up in my dorm room. There is still a distance and a freedom from your parents no matter how far you go away from home. You get to decide when you want to see your parents. I know some of my friends that went far away to school and saw their parents more often than I did, even thought I was still "home".
I love my hometown. I love where I grew up and I am so lucky that there is an incredible school just a few miles from my ever-worrying mother. Yes, college is supposed to be a time of freedom and a time to branch out, but that freedom doesn't have a distance requirement.