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The Pros and Cons of Going Out of State For College

I’ve been to college twice now. Both times, out of state. I grew up military, so moving has never been ~too~ hard for me. At least, until I went to college. Moving by yourself is so much different and so much harder. I’m from Colorado, and my freshman year I decided to go all the way to Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. That is a long, long way. And evidently, I don’t go there anymore due to a few different reasons. However, being far from home wasn’t a contributing factor to why I transferred. I mean…look at me now…I did it again. If you’re considering moving out of state for college, here’s a few pros and cons to help you decide.

Pro #1: It’s a Whole New World!

If you grew up in the same town or state your entire life, chances are you’re dying to get out. The longest I’ve ever lived in one place is four years, and even that’s too much for me. There are so many different places to see and cultures to experience. Even if you go one state over (like me!), chances are it’ll be entirely different from your hometown. Speaking from experience, Lawrence is very different from Colorado Springs. The weather is different, the food is different, the people are nicer, etc. The list goes on and on. So if you’ve been dying to get away from home and experience something new, going out of state is going to be your first step. 

Pro #2: New Friends!!

Going to college in general will introduce you to so many different types of people. And especially when you move out of state, you’re far away from people you might have grown up with your whole life. This gives you the opportunity to find new people and find out what you like in a friend, teacher, partner, etc. If you stay around the same people you’ve always been around, how will you ever know that those people are truly for you? There’s nothing wrong with staying connected with your friends from home, but allowing yourself to branch out can help you find your true friends and who you really are. In fact, having a friend group at home and at college is fantastic. No matter where you go, you’ll have your 4Liferssss.

Pro #3: It Helps You Grow Up

As much as I love my parents, not having them as a security blanket forced me to be more independent and adult. Being an adult kind of sucks, but it can be a good thing. You get to make your own schedule, take care of yourself, and my personal favorite: you don’t have to ask for permission. For (just about) anything. Going to college is a great way to ease yourself into the real world, but being on your own when you can’t just drive home whenever you want is really going to help you become independent and confident in who you are. 

No pro comes without a con. There are a couple of downsides to moving out of state, but luckily I’ve got a few words of advice!

Con #1: Homesickness

There’s no way around it. You’re going to miss your dog, your mom and your bed. You’ll probably want a home-cooked meal only a couple days into school. And to be honest, I’d do anything to not shower in the communal bathrooms for just one day. Ugh. But your family is always just a phone call away! I love to FaceTime my sister and mom. I actually do it probably once a day. And once school starts and you’re busy with homework and hanging out with friends, you’ll start to forget how much you miss home. As long as you keep yourself busy, time is going to fly. And before you know it, it’ll be time to go home for break!! 

Con #2: It’s Scary!

To put it simply, it’s just scary. Going to a brand new place that you’ve never been is so intimidating. Three weeks ago when I was moving into the dorms, I was so anxious I could barely talk. KU is so much bigger than my first college, and I didn’t know how I was going to make friends or how I was going to do in school. But on only my second day here, I met my friends and now I have all A’s! Although it feels really scary and maybe even impossible, everything will work out just fine. If you find yourself having a hard time adjusting, you can always talk to your roommate or your RA (that’s what I did). There’s always someone there for you, even if you don’t know it. As long as you go in with an open mind and are willing to put yourself out there, you’ll be okay. It might even turn out better than you expected. 

So, even though it can be super intimidating and maybe even hard at first, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I think going out of state for college was the best thing I ever did for myself. And if you asked me if I recommend it, the short answer is YES!

Hi! My name is Kaitlyn and I'm a sophomore at KU majoring in elementary education. I love to write poetry, paint, and I'm a huge Taylor Swift fan!
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