Deciding to attend an out-of-state college was easily one of the scariest decisions I have ever made. I was terrified of being a plane ride away from home, leaving what was comfortable, and not knowing a single soul at my new home. Nevertheless, it was the best choice I ever could have made. All of my fears ended up being proven untrue. I hope if you are looking at colleges for next year now, this encourages you to not shy away from attending out-of-state if that is an option for you.
- Myth: Everyone Will Just Stick With Their High School Friends
This is absolutely incorrect! Since I decided to attend a public state school out-of-state, I knew the vast majority of students would be in-state. Just because someone is fifteen minutes from their home doesn’t mean that they don’t want to make new friends! Two of my closest friends went to the same high school and were roommates in college, yet there was never a moment when I felt unwelcome with them. Regardless of where you’re from, everyone wants to make new friends. They’re in a new situation too and are also nervous about meeting new people.
- Myth: Everyone Knows People from High School
Not everyone even knows people attending their college from high school. I have friends that don’t know a single person who goes to their college despite being in-state. Knowing one person in a college of 30,000 doesn’t make things much easier; just because someone is in-state doesn’t mean they automatically have their friend group made.
- Myth: You’ll Always Feel Homesick
I am not going to lie, there are times you miss your parents, friends, and a home-cooked meal. That happens to everyone and it’s unavoidable that sometimes you miss what was familiar. There is so much going on freshman year that a lot of the times you’re too distracted with your new life to even have time to miss home. There’s making new friends, clubs, sports… and what am I forgetting? The actual school part that consumes a lot of time!
- Myth: People Won’t Like That You Aren’t From Where They Are From
Being out-of-state is actually a fun thing to be able to say that you are. It is an interesting topic of conversation to make friends with because especially at a public school, most people are not out-of-state. You’ll also probably notice words or things you do that are different from those around you. Although it may seem a bit scary, it’s kind of cool to see a different culture. Just going from one state to another, there are still slight differences in things people say and do.
- Myth: Everyone Will Go Home on the Weekends
I can’t speak for every school, but in my experience, I know very few people that go home more than once or twice a semester. Everyone wants to make friends just like you, and going home is not going to make that any easier. The best college memories are made on the weekends when you have time to meet and really get to know your friends. The campus does not thin out on weekends at all, and there are rarely nights with nothing to do or no one to hang out with.
So if you’re deciding whether or not you should go out of state, and you have the option, I implore you to go to school away from home. It has easily been the best thing to happen to me and all of the fears that plagued at me ended up being inconsequential. Look at out of state schools. Look online, tour them if you have the ability, choose your college based on what you like best, all the other pieces will fall together with time.