Going To College On The East Coast When You’re From The West Coast

Although I was born in New Jersey, my family moved to California when I was 1, so California is the place I call home. I think it’s an amazing state; it has perfect weather, a variety of good restaurants and Disneyland. After hearing all this, you might ask the question practically all my friends and family members asked me: Why did you decide to go to a college on the east coast? Here are a few reasons I decided to college on the east coast when I’m from the west coast:

I wanted to experience snow for the first time.

Growing up in California, I never saw snow fall from the sky. The only time I had ever seen snow before coming to college was when my family drove three hours to a ski resort in Lake Tahoe. During Christmas season, I would always look at Christmas cards displaying beautiful pictures of neighborhoods filled with snow, feeling a mixture of curiosity and wonder.

The first time I saw snow fall in college, I was so excited I immediately took twenty pictures and texted them to my parents. I even got the unusual experience of running during snowfall for Track practice. I will admit that snow can be annoying, especially when it keeps you from going outside, but overall I still find it beautiful.

                                                                        Photo courtesy of Vidya Ramaswamy 

 I wanted a smaller school.

I had always attended enormous public schools from kindergarten until ninth grade. In tenth grade, I moved to a small private school. I knew at once that I preferred the smaller, tight-knit community of a private school and wanted a similar college experience. In California, most colleges are big. Most of my peers applied to the UC system or the University of Southern California. Small colleges do exist, such as those of the Claremont McKenna Consortium, but there are definitely more options on the east coast. In the end, most of the colleges I applied to ended up being on the east coast.

 

I didn’t want to spend my life in one place.

I didn’t want to be afraid of change and new experiences. I wanted to see a part of the country I had never seen before and learn to adapt to a new setting. I’m not saying that anyone who chooses to attend a college close to home is afraid of change. You can still have new experiences in a place you're familiar with. However, traveling away from your life as you know it and venturing into the unknown is definitely one of the many ways you can explore the world and challenge yourself. It was one thing I knew I could do to ensure that I wouldn’t back away from moving to a new place later in my life, so it’s the path I chose to take.

 

I wanted to become more independent.

I’m an only child, so I’ve always felt that my parents have been very overprotective of me. As a result, I had also become very dependent on them. I knew I wanted college to be a time of growth, and I wanted to benefit from that experience as much as possible. Going away from my parents was hard, and I did feel particularly homesick for my family and friends in my first semester. However, I grew from that struggle and learned that everyone has the capacity within them to find a circle of support wherever they go. Now, when I leave California for college, it no longer feels like I’m leaving home. It’s more like I’m going to my second home.