Perks of Going to an Out of State School

Transitioning into college can be stressful, especially if you're going out of state. The University of Iowa felt like the perfect school for me, except for the one thing that caused me to hesitate before I became a Hawkeye. I’m from Massachusetts and Iowa felt like it was a million miles away. Fortunately, Iowa City has made it easy to feel at home and find the great things about be an out of state student.

1. It’s easier to get used to staying at school and being independent.

Going to an out of state school might mean that you can’t visit home nearly as much as you want to, and while this sounds tough, it does help speed up the process of getting used to staying at school. If you get into the habit of going home, you’ll be doing it more often than you should. You won't be able to take your laundry home like some of your friends, but you won't be obligated to attend monthly or weekly family events.

2. You get to explore new areas.

This one is a given, but it is still a big one! Getting to move to a whole new part of the country is an amazing opportunity to explore places you may not have been able to visit before! Travelling and seeing new cultures and landmarks will provide you with countless memories.

3. You get to learn about your new state’s snacks!

Personally, one of the best parts of coming to Iowa so far has been learning about all the popular restaurants and snacks that are nonexistent back in Massachusetts. Puppy-chow, Scotcharoos, Walking Tacos, or Casey’s Pizza are just a handful of the many new things I have discovered since moving to the Midwest. Every state is different in terms of their trademark meals. 

4. You have an automatic conversation starter.

Starting college also means starting over with friends. Meeting new people can be nerve wracking, so it’s always nice having a conversation starter handy. Being an out-of-stater always makes you stand out (in a good way, obviously), especially if you go to a public in-state school! Just get ready for “ What are you doing out here?” and “ Do you guys have this where you’re from?” Do people ever act like you're crazy for choosing the middle of nowhere Midwest? That's always my first reaction when I hear someone is from far away. It could be fun to include a sentence or two on those reactions you get from people, if that's a thing that even happens! 

5. It makes going home even more special.

Personally, being so far away from home only makes it that more special when I do go home! You probably won't get to go home as often, so when you do it's a whole event. Also, you might even get to bring some of your new friends back and show them your hometown!

Going to school out of state is a big decision; there are so many benefits to going to a college in a different state. You will be able to meet people and see things that you would never would have and experience life outside your little bubble, even if it is just for the four short years. If you see the opportunity, seize it! 


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