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College away from home may be better

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From the time we are born until we move out, our parents are the people that we turn to for guidance on what choices to make. When something goes wrong, we often depend on them to show us how to fix things.

When looking at colleges, it may seem like an easy choice to pick a school as close to home as possible. However, picking a college that puts distance between you and where you live may provide a step in-between being dependent on someone else and having to fend for yourself.

There are, of course, other reasons people choose to stay close to home. Living on or off campus can add up pretty quickly, and that’s a financial burden that may seem scary as you take the next step into adulthood. However, paying bills and living on your own, if you can afford it, prepare you for adulthood.

Along with this, college is a place where someone is not always there to hold your hand. You have times where you have to figure things out on your own. Figuring out how to pay rent, how to budget for groceries and how to handle a social life with class and work can be a struggle, but something you’ll be thankful to have later.

The greatest thing is that if you start struggling too much, there are always people to reach out to. The Counseling Center, Career Services and many other resources here on campus were designed with you in mind.

Another reason that some students choose going to a college closer to home is for the connections they have. Going to a new city or even a new state can be terrifying when you don’t know anyone. The new connections, though, may help you progress further in your future career.

Having to deal with new people and all sorts of personalities provides you with the means to deal with how different people are going to be in your future career. No two people are the same, and college is one of the easiest ways to discover that, especially if you are living with three other people.

You quickly discover what irritates you about others, and you may even discover some of the irritating habits that you have. These new interactions and connections may potentially force you out of your comfort zone, which can be scary at first. However, once you get the hang of it, it makes talking at interviews, interacting with coworkers and just socializing easier.

When you think of giving up and returning to a college closer to home because being away is just too much, take a step back and look at the benefits again. You might miss your family, but technology allows us to stay in touch with our family no matter how far away we are.

Distance provides the independence we are going to have to learn at some point. It is far better to learn it sooner rather than later, and in an environment where you can feel safe doing so. Independence is a skill that you will value quite a bit in your future career choices.

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University of Southern Indiana's student publication
College away from home may be better