The Importance of Going Away to College

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The Importance of Going Away to College

Imagine the senior year of high school when students are poised to enter college and become adults. It's a time of responsibility, of being on one's own, and of shaping lives by making daily decisions. One of the major decisions is where to attend college. Should a person stay close to home and attend an in-state school where people and even campuses are somewhat familiar? Or should the decision be to start a completely new chapter in one's life by attending a college farther away, with totally new challenges? I believe the answer is definitely to leave town.

Of course, I can only speak from own experience to date. I thoroughly enjoyed high school and had excellent teachers who prepared me for entrance into the new world of college. My family and I discussed and received information from many schools, some of which I was totally unfamiliar with. My parents knew this was an important milestone in my life and therefore, arranged for a trip east to visit campuses and classes. That is how I chose to travel from my North Dakotan home to MIT, halfway across the nation. I had many reasons, one of which is obviously that MIT is one of the top schools in the nation, but another is that it is in the city of Boston. I am from Bismarck, North Dakota, a midwestern town of about 60,000 which I love, but I knew it was time for a new place with new experiences.

So far, I am only in my first semester of college, but I love it. I have met a whole new set of friends and find that things are always happening on campus and in the city. I was homesick for about the first week, but after that I never thought about being homesick again. I had too many interesting things to do. For the first t...

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...ting, a person can look at an experience from both sides. It has opened up my eyes to a new way of life.

Going away to college is a great way for people to meet new friends and experience new things. Usually a setting unlike their home will help them with both of these experiences. While this may not be true for everyone, I believe everyone should try living in an area unlike his or her own. This is what develops a person intellectually and socially.

It has been said that the grass is always greener on the other side. Being excited about the newness and challenges of a new place may not enable it to stay green for a lifetime, but the new place is a great place to spend the next four years. So even though I lived my whole high school life in one city where there were no actual problems, it still was time for me to move where there were new experiences.

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