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Is it okay to shut down your dream school to stay close to home

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Lillian’s Answer

We don't know your reasons for wanting to stay close to home--maybe your sibling has been diagnosed with a terminal disease, in which case, yes, stay close to home. Maybe you are feeling nervous and want some extra support, in which case, you may want to see if your dream school has ways in which it can provide that support. Maybe your parents are really controlling and told you that you aren't allowed to leave home, in which case, that is less ok and maybe you should talk to a professional about that, because that requires a longer conversation than anyone on here can give you.

You may or may not have valid reasons for wanting to choose your home over your dream school. I don't think any of us can answer this without knowing more. You should talk to your school's guidance counselor or academic advisor or even a teacher you trust to get a more well-rounded answer.

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Matthew’s Answer


Thanks for posting this question. For other students who might be wrestling with similar concerns, it's definitely worth exploring. The best way to determine a good answer for this question is to weigh the pros and cons of going vs. not going to your dream school. I'm not exactly sure of the distance between your dream school and your home, but it sounds like there's a considerable distance. If there was a way to attend your school and be at home during the weekends (for any number reasons), then I'd encourage you to think about that possibility.

Otherwise, if you can't attend the dream school and stay close to home, keep the following ideas in mind:

Matthew recommends the following next steps:

Can you stay home, if needed, and attend another school to earn some general education credits toward your degree? This would help you bide your time before possibly getting into Dream School at a later date. It's not everyone's favorite option, of course. However, if you want to attend that school, you'll find a way to make it happen.
Is the Dream School worth the distance? Consider the specific things that make it your "dream" school. What does this particular school offer that few other schools don't? And, are there other schools nearer to you that might provide the same degree and similar opportunities to grow? Would those schools also offer more financial aid because you stay in-state?
What do you have to lose, if anything, by attending the Dream School? Will it affect you negatively if you begin studying there as opposed to other schools closer to home? And, will this Dream School help you get where you want to go after you graduate?
However your decisions unfold, keep talking to people you know and trust. And best of luck! ~ Matt