Why You Should Choose To Go Away For College
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Why You Should Choose To Go Away For College

Spread your wings and see what the world has to offer.

Why You Should Choose To Go Away For College
Megan Thorpe

As summer comes to a close, last minute vacations are planned, sports camps have begun, “Back to School” commercials have bombarded TV screens, and merchandise lines retail shelves everywhere.

This could be considered one of the most memorable and crucial times for incoming seniors. Senior pictures are typically taken, and families tour several different colleges in search of the perfect one.

I have seen friends excitedly tour colleges locally, on the other side of the state, and even across the country in search of the one that fits the individual’s “list”. This being said distance from home, as well as the choice of campus living and commuting; tend to be one of the biggest factors when determining a school. I can still picture my “list” as I did my research on three prospective colleges, each ranging in distance from home.

Now as a second-semester sophomore at Point Park University, I am an extreme advocate of going away for college for numerous reasons when talking to younger students.

You gain a sense of independence and become more responsible.

Let’s face it, we all had some sort of curfew when we were in high school, or checking in with a parent was a must when going out with friends. And even if you just so happened to “forget” to text them, they always seemed to know every minuscule detail of what you did or whom you were with.

When you go away for college, no matter the distance, you gain some sense of independence. You are now considered an adult and each action you make can help or hurt you.

You are the sole proprietor of your decisions, no longer having to ask your parents if you can go hang out with your friends. Spontaneity can be your best friend: last minute trips, choosing to walk down the street to get pizza at 1 am, and impromptu concerts were some of the highlights of my freshman year.

Living on your own can also be considered a big change. For many, the situation is living in a dorm or apartment building with a complete stranger. Learning how to adapt and cooperate with you roommate is essential so all runs smoothly.

You take on more responsibility while living on your own. No longer is mom at your disposal; laundry, cleaning up after yourself, and finding your own meals now becomes part of your daily routine.

You meet an array of unique people and can make connections where you least expect it.

By leaving your hometown for college, you are opened up to a variety of people you would not meet elsewhere.

College can open you up to meeting people from across the country and even internationally depending on the location of your school. I have had the opportunity at Point Park to meet people from California, Australia, Spain, and countries in the Middle East.

Each person has qualities that make him or her unique, and you can constantly find people that amaze you. You can hear so many different stories, and I guarantee you, it will be worth it.

For me personally, I have met many classmates who are full of such passion and talent. Point Park University is very well known for its performing arts program, and during my freshman year, I lived on a floor with dancers, musical theater majors, and actors and actresses. On a daily basis I met people who radiated passion.

Besides that, I have met so many people who are kindhearted souls who easily lift spirits by walking in a room and emit positivity.

College is the time to make friends who will follow you through the rest of your life, keep an open mind, as you can easily make friends in anybody.

On top of making friends, college provides you with countless opportunities to make connections with potential employers.

Your school wants you to succeed. Events, such as job fairs, guest lecturers, and career panels, are constantly held on campuses that benefit certain careers. Go to as many as you can, as this can give you a leg up when job hunting, you can gain contacts, and you may just enjoy the experience overall.

You can explore new places and have new experiences.

If you’re anything like me, you yearn to travel to new places and see new things. Going away for college is an easy step for you to do so.

Attending a school near, or in, the city gives you easy access to many different cultures and a huge range of things to do.

Take Pittsburgh for example. There are many different neighborhoods, like Shadyside, Southside, the Strip District, and Oakland, which all make up the diversely beautiful city.

Even if you do not have access to a vehicle, Pittsburgh makes travel easy with the buses and the T.

Pittsburgh caters to many different interests; there are plenty of different restaurants for the food critics, many museums that tailor to different genres, concert venues that hold big names and smaller ones alike, and three of the best sports teams reside in the city. Lucky enough, most college students in Pittsburgh are able to get some form of discount for these activities.

If you are looking to spend as little money as possible, sightseeing on your own can make for a pretty good adventure. Countless weekends I have spent my time with my friends walking around Oakland, downtown Pittsburgh, and other neighboring areas (and occasionally other college campuses), just taking in the view.

College campuses typically provide different activities or events for their students as well. Point Park’s Campus Activities Board is widely known for its themed Bingo nights, annual Halloween dance, and Spring Fling.


In short, this just scratches the surface of why you should go away for college. In no way am I dissing the choice of staying near home for college, as these places each have their own perks.

But for those of you, who like me, desire to leave their hometown behind and see what else the world has to offer (or for those who merely want a change of scenery for a few years), this is the best option to consider.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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