Everyone should go to college 6+ hours away. “I miss home,” is the statement I’ve heard the most since coming to college, and after a month it’s turned into “I should transfer closer to home,” or “I go home every weekend.” The point of college isn’t to stay in your hometown forever and go to college with your high school friends. High school was a stepping stone, just like college is. You didn’t come this far to only come this far. Meaning you didn’t graduate high school to do a high school 2.0.
Since the ability to go home every weekend is out of the question for most students, they have a better opportunity to get involved on campus. You’re stuck here, so you might as well find a hobby or activity you enjoy. It also gives you time to get to know the place you’re calling home. With most students not having a car, they’re forced to walk to get to know their surroundings. Some students might even learn to use public transportation for the first time.
You’ll become more sociable too. The distance from home forces you to make friends with strangers in your classes because you have no one to instantly feel comfortable around. The people on your floor will become your best friends due to them being so close. Being pushed out of your social comfort zone is a learning process but it’s also a blessing in disguise. Yes, your palms might get sweaty, and your words might get caught in your throat, but you’ll learn; everyone does. It will cause you to gain leadership and discipline. You’ll be forced to decide whether to go on an online shopping spree or buy course books. It’s difficult and sometimes you’ll make the wrong decision but you’re learning.
The distance will test your emotional strength. It pushes your limits in loneliness. The human mind often plays tricks on itself saying, “You can’t do this” or “You’ve made a mistake.” It pushes you beyond what you’re comfortable with and what you think is right or wrong. Not seeing the people you love breaks your heart a bit. With technology, family and friends are only a screen away, making the transition easier on not just yourself but on them too. You can hear your mom’s voice in a matter of seconds with just the click of a button. The comfort someone brings can be transmitted over the internet and it makes what you’re going through easier. But, sometimes it can break a person. That one student who can’t handle the reality of being on their own will eventually move back home. Maybe a family member dies and you can’t go home for the funeral; that takes a toll on a person. Others can mourn and heal, but you feel like you’re stuck here. It doesn’t make them weak, it just means they aren’t ready yet.
Do you take all your stuff with you when you move to school, or is it easier to buy everything down there? The choice will be easy once you start packing your memories into boxes, ready to take them to a place where new memories will soon prevail. You’ll be able to look back on pictures of yourself and think, “Wow, I’ve changed.” That is what you’re supposed to do: change.
College is supposed to help you grow as an individual, and if you go home all the time the only growth you’ll experience is the sinking hole in your mattress from sleeping on it all the time. You’ve got a whole world of opportunities out there, you just need to learn how to use them.