| Southern Methodist University

Why You Should Go to College Out of State

College is a chance to take your pick of a city and call it home for four years. Choose wisely.

Trying to choose where to spend a very important four years of your life can be quite tricky. As someone who applied to about 15 different colleges, I know the struggle. When I was first applying to schools, the prospect of going out of state and leaving everything I knew was terrifying. What’s the point of leaving a great group of friends that you already have, your family, and a familiar and beloved home? College hopefuls usually get the answer, “you just need to step out of your comfort zone!” which is, certainly, true, but vague. As a senior in college, I can tell you confidently that going to college out of state was one of the best decisions I’ve made, and I’ll tell you why.

1. You get to pick a new and exciting place to call home
The coolest thing about going to college in a new city, and perhaps a new state is that you get to just pick a new home! A Californian who wants to jump over to New York? Go for it! A midwesterner who wants a taste of Texas? No problem! The chance to pick where you live is a rare opportunity and certainly something that anyone interested in travel and adventure should do.

2. You get a fresh start
Not that college should change who you are, but the transition from high school to college is a chance to redefine yourself. This especially easy when you go to a place where you know literally no one. The world is your oyster, and you have the freedom to completely be your uninhibited self.

3. You’ll make friends from all over the country, and always have someone somewhere to visit
If you go to a school that attracts a lot of out-of-state students, you will probably start a collection of friends from all over the country. This is fabulous when it comes to road trips and travel- you’ll always have a friend to stay with! You will meet all sorts of people, and like meeting people when you travel, they help you to see that there are so many different types of people and ways to live life out there. And that will help you figure your life out in college.

4. Moving away for college forces you to become your own person
Without friends and family to depend on, you really do become more independent, and in becoming more independent, you figure out what you like and dislike in the way you live your life. Like travel, forcing yourself to be in a new and unfamiliar environment really shows you who you are. Perhaps the most important part of college, being in a new city and state allows you to see yourself outside of everything you’ve ever known. You see yourself in a new light.

5. You have an exciting separate life from the people in your hometown, and you’ll always be the cool adventurous one.
Obviously being cool is the most important part of this list… Kidding. But not really- despite how unexotic your life two states over may actually be, people from home just see you living your life in a cool new city. You were the brave one, the one to take the lead in going to new places.

Going to college out of state will challenge you. The most important part of college is growing into the person that you want to be, and it is a really special opportunity to be able to do this somewhere new! If you have an adventurous spirit, or if you want to develop your adventurous spirit, apply to schools outside of any place that you already know. It’s exciting, and really worth it.

Jenna Peck

Southern Methodist University | 17 stories

Jenna Peck is a senior majoring in History and English at Southern Methodist University from Long Beach, California. She has studied abroad in Italy, England and has recently returned from a voyage around the world on Semester-at-Sea. She loves to travel and really finds it difficult to stay in one place for a long period of time, but when she does she loves to read, explore the world of the internet, blog and find exciting things to do right at home in Dallas, Texas!

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