Close to Home, or Far away on Your Own?
The idea of leaving for college is a popular symbol for independence, growing into one’s self, and finding new social networks and outlets. What if you decide to go to college close to home – or even – what if you decide to live at home and commute? Instead of hampering your college experience, it might help in some cases. Here are few considerations to take in before deciding on moving 500 or 2,000 miles away.
Yes, parents and students – it is wonderful to live close to campus and be able to visit sporting events, have lunch or dinner if you are in the same house still – but one of the main advantages to living at home during college is the savings. Living alone is not cheap, even in a dorm. Some students might also feel like they are nagging parents if they are paid to live on a campus. Students with jobs close to home might feel their current work helps them more with their resume and financial responsibilities than an on-campus job would.
Let’s face it. If you live two doors down from an amazing college and receive admission but decide to attend a school none of your neighbors have heard of that is across the country, you are probably looking for a college where you can explore life and your own beliefs and academic interests on your own. That is great! It just means that one of the deciding factors in where you attend college will probably be its location. Living far from home can take its toll, especially if families experience a tragedy – or a celebration and someone misses it – but if the student is looking for a place to expand their own thinking experience on their own, distance might be a factor.
Campus experience and activities.
College campuses are full of activities, parties, lectures, workshops, and artistic events. Will living at home keep you from taking part in these? If you are applying to colleges and scholarships not just to get through four years of academic credit, what are the other reasons you are applying? If they involve campus life and you are still thinking of living at home, consider the time and commuting commitment that it will take to be a part of campus life. If it’s an easy commute and you want to be at home, it might work wonderfully – and you’ll have a crowd at Thanksgiving! If the thought of driving thirty minutes makes you shrug off going to an extra event, maybe rethink living off campus.