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Students Debate: College Close or Far Away?

November 17, 2022

Far Away

Deciding where to go to college is one of the most important decisions for seniors. Some decide to stay close to home while others want to leave their state. I think that it is most beneficial for students to attend college far from their home.

There are many more benefits to venturing off than one may think. College is the best age to get a complete change of scenery, as you don’t have to worry about some of the unpleasant aspects of moving later in life. A farther away school can also bring about new experiences and opportunities. These can allow you to discover new things about yourself. By being in a completely new place, you get to broaden your perspectives of the world. You will learn from the new people you meet who likely come from different backgrounds. This kind of exposure to new ideas and experiences is crucial to becoming a well-rounded adult.

Independence is another important thing to learn throughout your college years. Moving away for college can allow you to gain more freedom. Living on your own in a new or unfamiliar city creates a lot of independence that is important later in life. When you are at college farther away you gain more independence as you are in a completely new setting so you really have to learn to navigate things for yourself. By becoming more self-sufficient, you will also likely get out of your comfort zone. Through this, you have the ability to grow and transform. When you challenge yourself to try something new you will discover hidden talents, passions, and create new experiences for yourself.

However, I understand why many students choose to stay close to home. Some don’t want to be far for the fear of becoming homesick, while others may pick a closer school out of convenience. It can be out of the way and expensive to travel home for breaks. Also, in-state tuition is often significantly cheaper that out of state.

Attending a college far from home is more beneficial for a student than attending one close to home. You gain and learn a lot more about the world by being off on your own. It prepares you better for the post-college world and leaves you with unforgettable memories.

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Close to Home

As college application deadlines are approaching, the senior class is beginning to finalize their future academic plans. BSM’s resources as a college preparatory high school widen the range of possibilities for students. With so many options available throughout the country it is difficult for students to narrow down their college search. Although there are some benefits to going to a college far away, going to college close to home is the better option.

One of the best ways to decide whether or not a college would be a good fit is to visit the campus and get a feel for the student life. Since high school students are very busy with academics, clubs, sports, and other activities, it is difficult to schedule time away for a college visit. Some colleges require a plane ride to get there, but colleges close to the Twin Cities can easily be visited in an afternoon. Not only is this more cost effective, but it is more conducive to the schedules of busy high school students.

Students who stay close to home for college have an advantage during move in and move out week. It is far easier to transport things via car rather than plane. You have more freedom to bring large, irregularly shaped items like TVs, fans—which are a necessity in dorms without AC—mini fridges, and so much more.

For students who still have the travel bug while at a college close to home, almost every college has an option for study abroad. This is a perfect compromise for students who want a global learning experience but who don’t want a huge culture shock throughout all of their college years. For BSM students, the University of Minnesota is very close to home, but also offers study abroad programs to over 50 countries.

There is no lack of academic prestige in the midwest. BSM students can easily find a school that will help them achieve their future education and career goals within driving distance. The University of Minnesota offers 150 majors and many research opportunities for all areas of study. There are also smaller colleges like St. John’s University, College of St. Benedict, and St. Olaf College, to name a few. Minnesota colleges and universities can accommodate any size school or area of study.

Staying close to home is more cost effective and practical for students planning on attending college. Staying within driving distance enables students to be able to come home for long weekends or school breaks, but they are still able to fully buy into the college experience and enjoy the freedom of the first stage of adulthood.

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