The Truth about Going to College Close to Home

The Truth about Going to College Close to Home

Having to attend a school so close to home put a sour taste in my mouth, until I realized the sweet advantages that laid ahead.
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Trust me, I know what you’re thinking—why would anyone want to go to college so close to home? Like every other teenager wanting to escape the rules of their parent’s, I was planning a new, exciting life after high school. I wanted college to be a time where I got to experience a whole new atmosphere and people. I wanted to leave. However, that all changed when I decided to go to Syracuse University.

I love the school. I love the atmosphere. I love my major. However, I had one problem: my future school was only a mere 30 minutes away. Syracuse was a part of my childhood. I was here when the Destiny Mall was called the Carousel Mall. I came up for a glam makeover at Libby Lu for a friend’s eight birthday party. I grew up next to this city. Syracuse was all too familiar to me. Therefore, having to attend a school so close to home put a sour taste in my mouth, until I realized the sweet advantages that laid ahead.

Honestly, during the first few days at Syracuse I was expecting my mom and dad to lurk in the corners of my school, watching my every move. I thought they would call multiple times a day, afraid to let me go.

But, boy was I wrong. I was surprised how the short distance to home had no effect on my life on campus. I got to make friends, stay out late, or go to class in a totally new environment, all by myself. I was actually happy I was going to school close to home. This realization changed my whole perspective.

To those hours or even 2,500 miles away from home, I am sorry. As you complain of how a pack of ten water bottles cost ten dollars, I have my caring mother throwing cases of water at me. When I am in need of more food or more school supplies, my parents are there for me. Thinking of going home for break? Stressed looking up train, airplane, or bus tickets for your journey back home? Watching my friends hustle to book tickets during the horrible winter season helped me understand how blessed I was to wake up, call my parents, and be on my way home in a flash. Not only is it amazing when my parents are there to help me with food or supplies, but I also have amazing opportunities to see my family when I miss them. That does not have to mean going home and spending every second with them. I get to see them for lunch or go out on a quick shopping trip and just spend some quality time with my family. I can even go home to play with my silly dog. Now how could that get any better?

So when you are thinking about moving away and choosing a college, just know that living close to home does not have to be a burden. It can create opportunities for you to flash some quick facts about the city to show off to your new friends or go home quickly for family events. Once a doubter, I urge you to think about the benefits of living near home, so maybe you can live the best of both worlds like me.

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To High School Seniors In Their Last Semester

Senior year moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
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Dammit, you made it. The final semester of your senior year. You’re at the top of the food chain of high school, and it feels so good. You’re probably praying this last semester flies by, that you get out of town as soon as possible.

At this point, you’re calling teachers by their first names, the entire staff knows you by name, and you’re walking around school standing tall, owning those hallways. You’re convinced you’re ready to leave and move on to the next chapter in your life.

You’ve already experienced your last football game, standing in the cold in the front row of the student section all season long, decked out in your school colors and cheering loud and proud. That is, until they lost, and you realized you will never have that experience again. Never again.

SEE ALSO: What I Wish I Knew As A Second-Semester High School Senior

You already had your last winter break. Preparing and celebrating the holidays with your family, ice skating and sledding with your best friends. Those quiet nights alone in your room watching Netflix, taking for granted your loved ones just a few rooms away. Never again.

If you’re an athlete, you may have already played in your last game or ran your last race. The crowd cheering, proudly wearing your school’s name across your chest, giving it your all. For some, it may be the end of your athletic career. Before you knew it, you were standing in an empty gym, staring up at the banners and thinking about the mark you left on your school, wondering where on earth the time went. Never again.

I’m telling you right now, you’re going to miss it all. Everything you’ve ever known. Those early mornings when you debate going to first hour because you really need those McDonald’s hash browns. The late nights driving home from practice, stopping for ice cream of course, ready for a late night of homework. Getting food on a whim with your friends. Endless fights with your siblings. Your favorite chips in the pantry. A fridge full of food. Coming home to and getting tackled by your dog. Driving around your hometown, passing the same sights you’ve seen every day for as long as you can remember. Hugs from your mom after a long day. Laughs with your dad. And that best friend of yours? You’re going to miss them more than anything. I’m telling you right now, nothing will ever be the same. Never again.

SEE ALSO: I'm The Girl That Enjoyed High School

Before you start packing your bags, slow down, take a deep breath, and look around. You’ve got it pretty good here. The end of your senior year can be the time of your life; it’s truly amazing. So go to the winter dance, go to Prom, spend Senior Skip Day with your classmates, go to every sporting event you can, while you still can. College is pretty great, but it’s the little things you’re gonna miss the most. Don’t take it for granted because soon, you’ll be standing in a packed gym in your cap and gown, wondering where the heck the time went. You’ve got a long, beautiful life ahead of you, full of joy but also full of challenges. You’re going to meet so many wonderful people, people who will treat you right and people who won’t.


So, take it all in. Be excited for the future and look forward to it, but be mindful of the present. You’ve got this.
Cover Image Credit: Hartford Courant

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Why I Didn't Want to Post a Life Update on Facebook

But the results of doing so made me feel a little bit better about my life so #yay

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I didn't want to post a life update on Facebook for a lot of reasons.

I'm very afraid of oversharing online, and having to live with the repercussions of that in the future (by future kids stumbling across my words to future employers judging me unfit for a job because of them, etc.).

I also don't like posting a lot about myself. I am on social media sites to learn about others more than to be about me - plus, in college, Facebook is how a lot of clubs communicate online. Also, I am not looking to start a conversation about me because I've got nothing particularly special going on right now.

But after a couple of months of debating, I posted a life update for one main reason - I didn't want to keep explaining to people that I was single instead of in a relationship. I posted it on Facebook for the convenience it offered me - I wouldn't have to keep explaining my breakup with my boyfriend, which unfortunately still makes my heart ache (even though we both knew it was the right thing to do).

But as the number of likes grew from single digits (which is the common number of likes for my less than extraordinary posts) to more than one-hundred, I wondered why Facebook posts starting with the words "Life update!" receive a lot of attention.

Did my life update post receive a lot of attention because I'm about to graduate? That's a pretty big milestone, and people in my family and friend groups are naturally curious what I'm planning to do after college.

Did people like my life update because people on social media sites like Facebook have become accustomed to the desire to know what their close friends, acquaintances, and the practically-strangers-but-still-on-my-feed-cuz-I-used-to-work-with-them are up to? I think people like knowing what other people are up to. This desire could come from genuine love and concern. This desire could be as simple as curiosity. I know I am drawn to reading other people's life updates, even if I haven't seen this dude since he was in middle school, a whole five inches shorter and sporting a very middle school wardrobe (100% Abercrombie and Fitch).

Do I want the number of likes to be so high because people liked my shout out to Mary, the Mother of God, for helping me through a really tough couple of months? I WOULD HOPE SO, but I doubt it. Not many people I know are seeking out information about the Mother of God. But sincerely, without Mary, I don't think I would've accepted the forgiving love Christ has for me as much as I did.

In all sincerity, I think my post caught people's attention because 1) I barely post anything in depth about me on Facebook and 2) the post mentioned a relationship related thing, which everyone is interested in knowing about, no matter what age they are. The good news is, with every like I felt a little more relieved (one less person who would ask about my ex-boyfriend, assuming we were together!). I also got some words of encouragement in the comments from close friends, which brightened my day.

All in all, I enjoyed posting a life update because having all the information I wanted out in the open felt so relieving. I shared enough to be heard and didn't feel as alone after posting it.

So yay for life updates! Maybe I'll do more in the future.

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