Deciding whether to move away for college or stay close to home can be a difficult decision, but there really isn’t a right or wrong answer. It mostly depends on your personality, timing, and a host of other curve balls, but I can say that for me, it was the best decision. I am a pretty independent person and knew I always wanted to live in California since I was 5 years old. My dream is to be a journalist so I guess one reason why it seemed smart to go to school in California was because the career that I want to have has a big concentration in Los Angeles. Being on the West Coast made it easier to find internships and opportunities and be a part of the media as an undergrad.
I also knew that I wanted to be away from the cold. Weather may not seem like a big factor in college decisions, and I would agree that is not the most important, but weather often can affect your mood. My thinking was that more sunny days would make me happier and more willing to study. Also, who wants to trudge through the snow every day to get class every day? Not me.
Most importantly, I guess I wanted a different view of the world. I had never been to the West Coast before and I always heard it was more laid back, a little more liberal, and overall a place where I would be able to enjoy college life. When I visited Pomona for the first time on their diversity weekend, I fell in love with the West Coast and could not see myself anywhere else. And just to make the decision easier for myself I basically applied to only West Coast schools so that I would have to end up there.
This is not to say that moving away from home is the easiest thing in the world, because I am 99.99% sure that all of you who will go to college away from home will feel homesick at some time, whether it’s missing your home’s food, people, the vibes—and this is for everyone who goes to college in general. I still miss home every now and then, especially during holidays where I can’t just fly home to see my family because it is a bit expensive (you should also factor that in when you are deciding). Especially for me, moving from Chicago, a big city, to the small little suburb of Claremont, it was definitely an adjustment. But I think that is the beauty of college. You evolve, you grow as a person, you gain independency that you never thought you had, and as long as you choose the college that is right for you, adjusting does not take very long. I am super pro-moving away from home because I think the process made me completely immerse myself in the college environment and I know many of my friends who stayed closer to home had a longer adjustment process because they visited home constantly the first couple of months. It honestly just depends on your circumstances, but as long as you do what’s best for you, college will be a great experience no matter where you go!