One of the most difficult things about college happens before you even get there: choosing the school you would like to attend. I have seen a trend (at least in my experiences) that kids these days want to stay close to home and keep with the familiar. Granted this might be because of the ridiculous costs of tuition for out of state students, I say f*ck it! For the most part we will all end up in debt whether it is in the form of college loans, credit card bills, car payments, or all of the above… So be adventurous and get your ass out there and experience something new – at least for your 4 years of college.
Now you may be asking yourself, ‘what right does he have to say all this?’ But let me explain my situation (don’t worry it will be brief). Four to five years ago I started looking at colleges to start the next chapter of my life and my one stipulation was that I was going to school out of the great state of Massachusetts. I landed on the one and only Towson University (go ahead, Google it…i’ll wait). This is the state school of Maryland, which most don’t know, and it has about 20,000 students. Surprising huh, considering most of you reading this have probably never heard of it. Well I often find myself reminiscing about my time there and the shenanigans that I got into, but that is for another day.
Going to an unfamiliar place seems scary in theory, but it’s really not that terrible. Leaving home and being on your own for the first time is invigorating. You really find out what kind of person you are, what you are capable of, and that there are some real assholes out there (also for another day). You are able to experience local culture and traditions, meet a new breed of people and accents, and be adventurous. For example, only about 10-15 minutes from my school is where one of the triple Crown horse races, The Preakness Stakes, is held. For the first 3 years of school I blew it off and told myself I don’t want to stand in the hot sun for a horse race, but finally I went my senior year and it was the greatest thing ever! Just picture one giant party for about 6 hours. Beer flowing, food cooking, and endless concerts throughout the day that appeal to all music tastes. My point here is that this is a very unique (and very drunken) event to this particular region that I never would have been a part of unless I ventured to a new place.
Now if those of you reading have already been through college and had a great experience near home, don’t worry there is still a way for you to get a taste of what I am taking about. Go and reap the benefits of your younger sibling’s college experience or your friends’ siblings. Take a weekend, or more, and go relive your college days vicariously through others. There aren’t many times when this is encouraged, so live it up. Teach the youngsters how to get the most out of their experience and in return you will get to soak up new cultures and more great
college mistakes memories. So before you go off to school, think hard about the situation you want to find yourself in. A familiar place where mom can do your laundry… or a new place where everything is exciting and fresh.
Ultimately, only you can decide what you want to do. But keep in mind that you could end up living with your parents again after school, so why not get away for a few years and have some fun away from home? College is a huge learning experience and adding the excitement of an unfamiliar place only makes it that much better. So get your lazy asses out there and live a little!