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Long distance vs close by?

What is the difference between colleges that are farther away from home and colleges only a drive away? What skills will you develop?

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Amy’s Answer

Riley,

This is a great question and a really hard decision. I would suggest starting with where you want to go, then think about the pro/cons of those schools and what they offer both academically as well as involvement and community.
The great part about going to a school close is that you likely have friends going there too so it can feel easier to transition to college. The bad part about going close, is because you have a built-in group of friends, you may miss out on meeting new people and getting involved in new activities and discovering new areas of interest. College is a time of growing and discovery, so taking advantage of getting out of that comfort zone will be important to your growth. If you want to stretch a bit, it doesn't mean you have to choose somewhere hundreds of miles away, even if it is in-state, set a rule for yourself that you will only go "home" once a month (or less), or that you will try 2 new activities in addition to getting together with old friends. Taking this opportunity to discover new people and interests will help you build confidence as you get beyond college and may need to make decisions to take a job out of state or even out of the country.

Good luck with your decision!
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Rian’s Answer

Hi Riley!
One thing I will mention about living close to home is that you will have a good support system if anything happens to you. This could include sickenss, an injury, or really anything that prevents you from living a normal daily life. Being close to home can provide a support system and one thing I've heard from people around me is that when you go far away, you often become super homesick. While some people handle that better than others, it's always nice know in the back of your mind that your home is only a drive away.
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Alireza’s Answer

📍 The choice between attending a college far away from home or one nearby can have an impact on your college experience and the skills you develop. Here are some differences to consider:

1️⃣ Independence and Self-Reliance: Going to a college far from home can develop your independence and self-reliance skills. Being away from your familiar environment and support system can push you to become more self-sufficient, make your own decisions, and manage your daily life without relying on others.

2️⃣ Adapting to New Environments: Attending a college far away exposes you to new cultures, people, and experiences. It allows you to broaden your horizons, embrace diversity, and develop adaptability skills. You may learn to navigate unfamiliar surroundings, adapt to different social norms, and build a network of friends and connections from various backgrounds.

3️⃣ Emotional Growth and Resilience: Being away from home can bring a sense of homesickness and loneliness initially. However, it also presents an opportunity for personal growth and resilience as you learn to cope with these challenges. You may develop problem-solving skills, emotional maturity, and the ability to navigate through difficult situations independently.

4️⃣ Support System and Familiarity: If you choose a college nearby, you may have the advantage of having a support system close at hand, such as family and friends. This can provide a sense of familiarity, comfort, and easier access to emotional and logistical support. Being able to visit home regularly can also help maintain a balance between college life and personal connections.

5️⃣ Cost and Convenience: Attending a college nearby can often be more cost-effective as it eliminates or reduces expenses like long-distance travel and accommodation. It can also be more convenient for regular visits home, accessing resources in your hometown, or pursuing internships or job opportunities nearby.

Ultimately, the skills you develop in both scenarios will depend on your personal experiences, mindset, and the choices you make during your college journey. It's important to reflect on your goals, consider the lifestyle you prefer, and weigh the pros and cons of each option to make an informed decision.

🎓💫
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Sarah’s Answer

Choosing a college close to your home can be a smart way to save money. You'll have the option to frequently visit home for meals or laundry, and depending on the college, you might even be able to live at home, significantly reducing your college expenses. The proximity to home can also lessen feelings of homesickness during your initial years at college. Your existing support network of friends and family, as well as your familiar environment, will be within easy reach. If the college is in your home state, you might also benefit from reduced "in-state" tuition fees.

On the other hand, attending a college farther away can broaden your horizons and offer a unique experience different from your current region. If your local college doesn't offer your desired major or study topic, a distant school might. Studying far from home can foster independence and adulting skills. It can also teach you how to make friends in a new environment, pushing you out of your comfort zone and aiding personal growth. After college, you'll likely feel more confident making significant life decisions, like relocating to a different state or accepting a job transfer, because of your experience studying away from home. However, keep in mind that attending college far from home will probably be more costly than staying nearby.
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DANIEL’s Answer

Hi Riley,

I attended a college 4 hours from my home town. This was far enough that I wasn't going home every weekend but close enough that I could still go home on holidays and special occasions. It's important to put some distance so that you can grow on your own but each persons situation is different. College is all about learning independence and ultimately your choice for college should be based on the school itself and whether or not it's a match your your goals and aspirations.

Best of luck Riley!
Caitlin and Daniel.
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Joy’s Answer

Great inquiry, Riley. I found myself pondering the same thing during my high school years! Here are some insights from Kathy and Joy:

- Choosing to study in a different city will allow you to experience a new environment and culture. This could turn into a memorable adventure that you'll cherish in the years to come.
- If financial support from your parents isn't available for living costs, it might be more economical to opt for a college close to home. This could save you from having to pay rent. However, remember that student loans are also an option if you lack financial backing.
- One significant benefit of attending college is the opportunity to build a strong network. If you envision yourself working close to home in the future, it might be advantageous to attend a local college to establish connections in your desired area. Internships during college are crucial too. Consider where you'd like to intern, as this could influence your decision on where to study.

Best,
Kathy & Joy
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Joan’s Answer

Hello Riley!

It's fantastic to see that you're already considering your future and the potential advantages of either attending a distant college or one that's closer to home.

Regardless of your choice, you'll undoubtedly receive a high-quality education. However, opting for a college that's a bit farther from home can present some unique chances to acquire essential life skills for independent living. This choice can serve as a significant stride towards your adulthood, all while fostering a new kind of relationship with your family.

Choosing to study at a distant college can also aid in honing your time management skills. You'll learn to juggle various responsibilities such as planning meals, doing laundry, arranging transportation, ensuring punctuality for classes, and overall, becoming more self-sufficient.

I trust this information will guide you in your decision-making process.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice. Riley
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hi there, Riley!

Choosing a college is a big decision, and one important factor to think about is how far the college is from your home. Some students like to stay close to home, while others might want to spread their wings and go farther afield. Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of both options:

Colleges far from home:

The Good Stuff:

1. Stand on your own two feet: Going to a college far from home can help you become more independent and self-reliant. You'll be away from your family and the places you know, which can push you to take control of your own life and make your own choices.
2. Meet new people: Colleges far from home often have students from all over, which means you'll get to meet people with different cultures, beliefs, and ways of thinking. This can help you see the world in new ways and become more open-minded.
3. More job options: Going to a college far from home can also mean more job opportunities, as you'll get to know a wider range of industries and make connections with more people.

The Not-So-Good Stuff:

1. Missing home: Being away from home for a long time can be tough, and you might start to miss your family and friends.
2. More expenses: Colleges far from home can be more expensive, as you'll have to pay for things like travel and living costs.

Colleges close to home:

The Good Stuff:

1. Home sweet home: Going to a college close to home can feel comforting and familiar. You'll be able to keep up with your usual routines and stay close to your support network.
2. Easier change: Starting college can be a big change, but going to a college close to home can make this change feel less overwhelming. You'll be able to keep your old friends and stay in familiar surroundings.
3. Save money: Colleges close to home can be less expensive, as you won't have to pay for things like travel and living costs.

The Not-So-Good Stuff:

1. Same old, same old: Going to a college close to home might mean you don't get to experience as many new things or meet as many new people. This could limit your worldview and job opportunities.
2. Less independence: Going to a college close to home might mean you rely more on your family and friends, which could mean you don't become as independent.

No matter if you choose a college far from home or close to home, you'll learn some important skills:

1. Time management: You'll need to be good at managing your time to keep up with your studies, hobbies, and personal life.
2. Self-reliance: You'll need to be able to take care of yourself and solve problems on your own, whether you're at a college far from home or close to home.
3. Good communication: You'll need to be good at talking to different people, like your family, teachers, and friends.
4. Making connections: You'll get the chance to make connections with other students, teachers, and people in your future career field.

For more info, check out these links:

1. [Niche](https://www.niche.com/colleges/search/long-distance-vs-close-by-colleges/)
2. [The Odyssey Online](https://www.theodysseyonline.com/pros-and-cons-of-attending-a-long-distance-college)
3. [Forbes](https://www.forbes.com/sites/jshu/2017/07/20/the-pros-and-cons-of-attending-a-long-distance-college/?sh=79c93f0d7f6c)
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Kushita’s Answer

Pro's of choosing a college close by: You have strong support if you're close by. You can get your laundry done and home cooked food. Family will visit you often.
If you choose to be far away - be more independent.
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Matt’s Answer

Hi Riley,

This is a great questions, and is wrestled with by many people when planning to go to college. Two large items come to mind when addressing the issue and would encourage you to at least visit a school close to home before making your decision!

1. Financial benefit: Sometimes attending a school closer to home allows for in-state tuition or the opportunity to live at home to save on "Room and board" expenses charged by the university.

2. Career opportunities: I would encourage you to set goals of where you see yourself in five and ten years - and how is your college degree going to help you get there. Doing this you may end up at a school that has an expertise where employers in your field actively recruit students prior to graduation.

Going to college is an investment in yourself and your future!

-Matt
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Rachel’s Answer

Hey Riley, thanks for bringing up such a crucial question! It's a topic worth discussing as there are numerous factors that can influence the decision to study near or far from home. The responses here do a great job of highlighting these factors.

Here's how I made my choice:
* I was eager to step out of my comfort zone, leave my hometown, and meet fascinating individuals from diverse backgrounds. Having attended summer camp for several years, I was already accustomed to being independent and away from home. However, if you're not used to this, it might be a significant challenge for you. Never underestimate the value of a familiar community.
* My parents set a limit for me - the school should be within a 3-hour flight radius. I ended up choosing a school that was just a 1-hour flight or 4-hour train ride away. This made it incredibly convenient to return home for a weekend if needed, without breaking the bank.
* The proximity to my family played a significant role in my decision. I chose a school close to my relatives, which proved beneficial when I faced difficulties and needed assistance while my parents couldn't make it.
* Finances - College education can be quite expensive, and the potential debt is a factor that should not be overlooked.
* Finding your tribe - The friends I made in college are simply wonderful. However, remember that you might not find your perfect fit on your first attempt. If you feel out of place, don't be scared to consider transferring.

Best of luck with your decision!
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Lizzie’s Answer

Hi Rachel!
This is a great question! I think it depends on the type of person you are. Some people think they are ready to move far away and end up coming back home for different reasons. There are lots of different considerations when thinking about whether or not you should stick close to home or move to a new city. First, I would think about the location of where you live and whether or not the major/career path you want to pursue is relevant for where you live or if it would be better to try and go to a college in an area where your desired industry is relevant. A lot of times employers are more willing to hire someone from college's that they recognize. For instance, if you're interested in tech maybe try applying to schools in the Bay-Area/Silicon Valley. I'm from Silicon Valley so I was lucky enough to be able to live close to home at the college I attended, it's helpful during stressful times I was able to go home and recollect myself. But there are also a lot of advantages of moving to a new place, such as having new experiences, being exposed to new people and new ideas, and learning about who you are outside of your home life. I don't think there is a right or wrong choice here. It is ultimately what works best for you!

I hope this helps!
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