Ask a Collegiette: My Parents Don’t Want Me Going to College Out of State

Are you a smart and savvy pre-collegiette looking for answers to some of your most personal questions about college? You know, the ones about boys, classes, roommates and parties that your school’s guidance office can’t help you with? Jen is here to answer those questions! Whatever your concern, she’ll do her best to help you so you can make sure you don’t just survive college, but rock it!

My parents don’t want me to go out of state for college, but I do because I want to learn how to be independent.  How do I convince them to let me apply out of state? –Maya


Maya,

I respect your desire to be more independent; college is the perfect time to gain necessary life skills that will help you to do so. Just so you know, you’ll learn how to be independent wherever you decide to attend college!

To start, I think it would be helpful to not think of this situation as trying to “convince” your parents to let you go out of state. Rather, it would benefit you in the long run to make sure you listen to their concerns, especially if they will be helping you pay for school. They love you and have your best interests at heart, so make sure you respect them and listen to what they have to say about your situation, too! Next, begin to evaluate some of the pros and cons of going or staying.

So, before you make a decision to move out of state just yet, you should take some time to pinpoint your true reasons for wanting to do so. Is it only because you want to learn how to be independent? As I said, regardless of where you go to school, you’ll learn how to be on your own. Even if you go to school an hour or two away from your home, you’ll still be living independently to some degree. This means you’ll be in charge of your schedule, your meals and your laundry, among other responsibilities. You don’t need to be out of state to learn all these skills, and if it’s a better financial choice for you to stay in state for school, I’d definitely consider it. Before you know it, you’ll be rocking college life like an independent pro, just like Elle Woods did in Legally Blonde when she totally crushed it at Harvard.

A con of going out of state for school could be that, if it’s a public school, you might have to pay a higher tuition price than the students attending the school who are from the state. This doesn’t apply to private schools, since they charge the same tuition regardless of what state or country you’re from. If you’re on financial aid and do this, then you’ll have higher loans, which you’ll have to pay once you graduate. When you have the burden of extra loans, you’ll have to be more dependent on your parents for a little while after you graduate, so in the long run it may benefit you more to learn how to be independent at a school in your state. You do not want to have an awkward dinner conversation with your parents like Lena Dunham did on the pilot of Girls to discuss your excessive loans!

A pro for attending a school in another state is if the school has a really good program for whatever major you want to study. The reason why I picked my college is because I originally started my college career as a dietetics major, and my school has an awesome program for nutrition. Even though I’ve changed my major to journalism, I’ve stayed at my college because it has also provided plenty of other amazing opportunities for my career. Keep these things in mind when you’re deciding on a college that’s right for you.

There will also be opportunities for you to travel during your college career. If that’s another reason why you want to go out of state for school, do know that you’ll still get to experience other parts of the country. Additionally, you’ll probably have time once you graduate school to travel, so don’t pack your bags and head to college in the South if you live in the North just because you want to experience soul food and sweet tea.

Once you’ve evaluated these pros and cons, now you can have a mature and effective conversation with your parents. Choosing a college is a big decision, and if your parents are feeling strongly about you not going out of state, it’s a good idea to consider why they feel this way and to talk to them about their concerns, too. To have a solid conversation with your parents, make sure you’ve written down important aspects of what you want to tell them and possible responses to common questions they could ask you, such as why you think it’s a good idea for you to go out of state. Also, make sure you plan out when you want to have this conversation with them to make sure it’s not rushed and that they aren’t caught off guard!

After you’ve thought about your decision for a while and discussed the pros and cons with your parents, then you’ll be able to make a solid choice that will make everyone involved feel better. Best of luck!

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