It is crazy for me to think that in about five weeks I will be starting my senior year of college. I am so ready to get this year started and over with. As I sit here after writing yet another ten page paper, I can’t help but think about how the last three years would have been different had I moved away for school. Each year I applied to colleges in other cities, been accepted, and had the desire to go, but each time something stood in the way. Thus, I have stayed in the same city that I have lived in my entire life and have thought multiple times about the things that I missed out on. As most people do this time of year, I wanted to start a “back to school” series for the next five weeks that will range in a variety of things. This first post – I hope – help anyone who is contemplating on whether or not they should move away for their college years.
1. Meeting New People
One of the most exciting things I was looking forward to was to meet new people. All but two of my friends are about double my age. Now, I love all of them. I enjoy having friends who are older than me because they do have some wisdom that they are able to share with me and I love my two friends who are my age, but one of the best things about college is the new friendships that develop. Okay, so you are probably wondering why I couldn’t meet new people at my school. I mean it is a decent sized school where quite a bit of people actually move to go to. However, the majority of the time I have been in school, I have been an online student, so I haven’t really had the chance. If I had moved away, I would also have had the opportunity to build a relationship with my roommate and also would have had the chance to meet people just by living on the campus.
2. The Whole Experience
I certainly have missed out on the whole “college experience.” By this I mean living in a closet sized dorm room with another person living off of Ramen Noodles. Most people would probably say, “Really? You are upset that you didn’t experience eating only Ramen Noodles for four months straight?” But I think it is so much more than that. I didn’t get to experience what it was like moving away, living with a stranger, and being completely on my own for the first time. I have lived by myself for a year now, but it is not the same. My parents literally live down the street from me and I know that if I ever need food, I can drive a little further to my grandparents house.
3. Studying for Real
Because I have mostly been an online student, I haven’t really ever had to “study.” I have been an online student because of the hours I work and how the schools in the city have set up their system, so I have never really experienced having to go to class or having to study for a test because all of mine are open book. Doing this has caused me to miss out on what it feels like to be an actual student and also has been an obstacle for meeting new people.
4. Joining Clubs
I was in an organization at my school for the first two years, but then I started working full-time and wasn’t able to do it. I absolutely loved the organization and wish I could have continued doing it. I think that if I moved away I would have wanted to join a club or even a sorority. I would have had the drive to have wanted to be more apart of the student body than I did here in my hometown.
These are just a few things that I think about every once in a while when I think about how it would have been if I moved away. I am definitely grateful for the opportunities that I have had staying here during my college years and will talk about that next week, so be sure to watch out for that! Going off for college can be scary, but I think the memories and experiences are worth at least trying it for a year. If you are on the fence about whether or not you should move, I hope this helps a little and gives you insight to some of the things you might miss out on if you decide to stay in your hometown. BUT… be sure to read next weeks post before you make a decision because there may be somethings on that list that are more important to you than these.
Note: The picture is not mine.