Staying home for college means you're familiar with your surroundings, and there is no need to learn the ins and outs of a new place. It also means you can keep having philosophical conversations with the coffee shop barista and take your car to a mechanic you actually trust. Moving to another town means giving up this familiarity. Starting college in itself is a big step and staying close to home in a familiar environment might be what you need during this transition.
One of the most obvious advantages to staying at home for college is the tuition. By paying resident tuition, you and your family can reduce college expenses drastically. Living nearby will also save money on traveling home for the holidays and other visits. If you go to school within walking, biking or driving distance of your parents' house, you may be able to stay with them rent free. Food, utilities and laundry will be very affordable if you stay home, especially if your parents don't make you pay!
Staying near home for college means staying near the people you love most, which can be a great advantage. You can still see your parents whenever you want, and if you're stressed out, a coffee with a friend might be all it takes to help you feel better. Adjusting to college life can be much easier with your support system already in place.
Moving to a new place and making the effort to meet people can be a pain, but that pain builds character. It also exposes you to a variety of new experiences that you won't have if you stay near home for college. Your college years are a time to not only study, but also to learn about yourself. Stepping outside your comfort zone can give you the courage to take advantage of opportunities such as overseas travel, an internship or simply meeting different people.
Too Close for Comfort!
Where were you last night? What time did you get home? Why aren't you studying for your classes? These are all questions you might find yourself answering if you live close to home. While it's great to be close to the things and people you love, it also has the potential to be smothering. If you don't live at home, but still live nearby, you might find your parents on your doorstep at the ungodly hour of 9 a.m. on Saturday morning! Going away to college might be difficult at first, but you certainly won't have to deal with the problem of family getting into your business.
Wondering 'What If?'
No one is saying you can't have a full life if you attend college in the same place you went to high school. However, there is something to be said about moving out of town and starting fresh. This time in your life only happens once, and you might find yourself looking back and wondering what you missed by not leaving home. Asking yourself 'what if' isn't unusual, but it is something that can be easily avoided with a little courage. Maybe you can't imagine what it's like to live in a place where you don't know anyone, but that's the joy of leaving home - stepping out and learning how to make your life your own.
Whether you attend school close to home or not, there are a few things you should know going into your freshman year.