College is the most unique time in someone’s life. The 4 or 5 years (some take longer which is ok) that you spend at this institution of higher learning will shape the roads you will travel for the rest of your life. The college experience is what you make of it. There are several opportunities to meet new people, learn new things, and develop the necessary skills for a successful career in the field of your choosing. But, does where you attend college actually matter? Students are choosing a certain university for several reasons, i.e. for certain classes, degrees offered, sports, career opportunities, and more. However, should students take location into consideration?
Many students look at universities close to home to continue their educational career. But attending college away from home or out of state might be the better option, and here is why:
Burst the Comfort Bubble
We all develop a comfort level in our home towns. We know where everything is, who is going to be there, and how everything works. But being settled in a comfort zone is not necessarily a great thing. Attending college out of state will present several new experiences that will benefit you in many ways.
Attending college out of state will definitely cause you to leave your comfort zone. In a new environment where you are not familiar with your surroundings and do not know many people, you will have to put yourself out there and do things you are not necessarily accustom to. This could mean establishing relationships and skills that you will have for the rest of your life. By staying in your home town, you could be limiting your personal development as well as your career opportunities.
Prepare For Your Career
In the business world, or any other profession, it is crucial to be well rounded when it comes to engaging with new people and handling uncomfortable situations. You will be asked to complete certain tasks or travel places that will constantly force you out of your comfort zone. Having experience with this will prove to be useful when you encounter these situations throughout your career.
Choosing a university away from home will help prepare you for your career. Learning to collaborate with a diverse group of individuals who come from different areas and backgrounds will only benefit you in your career. Also, being able to handle difficult situations and environments with will only impress your future employer.
Up until now, you have depended on your parents or guardians for almost everything. They have provided for you, helped you stay on track, and checked to see if you’re doing your homework. Attending college near your home might cause you to continuously rely on those close to you for assistance and this will limit your growth as an independent adult.
Being away from home in college forces you to manage your independence. It is up to you to attend class, turn in assignments, and book your appointments. No one is there to make sure you prepare for your test and write your paper, it is all up to you. This is where learning time management, understanding priorities, and being responsible are crucial characteristics to learn, and will benefit you in many areas throughout your life.
Create New Opportunities
Life is full of opportunities. But opportunities do not always come to you. You must go out and find them. Staying at home could limit the opportunities available for you in the field you wish to enter as well as many others.
Being at a college in a new area for several years will open up several new opportunities. One crucial practice, that many young people do not use enough, is networking. Being able to meet new people and build relationships could open several doors throughout college and as you enter your professional career. You have most likely built a network in your home town. Building a network in a new area could play a major role in the success of your future career.
Live a Little
At some point in your life you will be in a situation where you have to stay where you are. Having a career, starting a family and other circumstances requires you establish a life in one area. College gives you the opportunity to live a little and experience new things. You can seize the chance to live in a new area, experience a different culture, and have memories you will cherish for a life time. Staying in the area you grew up will surround you with things you are all too familiar with. Being able to experience new things is something that we all need, and moving away for college provides that opportunity.
Caleb McElveen is a media relation specialist representing Allied Van Lines, the largest residential and corporate relocation company in North America.