For anyone wondering why I chose to or deciding if you should; here are the main reasons for why I chose to attend a university that is across the country from my hometown. If you’re up for the challenge of a major change, I say go for it.
I liked my high school, but I needed new people.
I spent approximately 12 years in my town with the same people and the same environment. Most of the kids in my grade decided to go to state schools, or schools in driving proximity and I wasn’t in the same mindset. I needed to meet new people from all different kinds of backgrounds and walks of life.
As much as I love my town and love the people I grew up and fostered friendships with, I didn’t want to bump into someone I knew when walking to my college classes.
I didn’t want to share the same experience with someone from my high school. I wanted to be able to visit my friends by hopping on a plane and tackling each other to the ground when we met up. I wasn’t interested in a drive over to their school or a casual meetup at a frat house we both go to. I wanted new people that I could learn from; because I have already learned so much from those at home.
18 means independence, no?
As much as I enjoy the company of my family, I needed to go explore life on my own. I truly believe that your college years are the years you grow, change, understand and learn the most about yourself.
Not that I couldn’t do that with my parents by my side, but I needed to fall and learn to pick myself up on my own. Coming to a completely new state, knowing literally no one, and throwing yourself into something like college is the “falling.”
Making that state your home, introducing yourself, being outgoing, making a family out of friends and immersing yourself in what your school has to offer is the “picking yourself up on your own.” I needed that and didn’t feel I would get it if I was close to home or a drive away from my parents.
From tundra to desert reaaaal quick.
I had known from a young age that I would want to leave the NY scene (maybe just for college) and see what else is out there.
After touring several of the 14 (why?) colleges and universities that I applied to I came to a very critical conclusion; if there is snow, I will not go to class. This was a major issue considering 10/14 schools I applied to would have snow at one point.
But when I stepped off the plane in Arizona for my campus tour, I didn’t question my class attendance ( maybe if I got stuck at the pool & couldn’t make it?). I had never pictured myself bundling up for my trek to class in my winter boots, and so picturing shorts, and tank tops almost all year round seemed fitting.
A better appreciation for home.
I don’t think I have ever missed bagels or pizza more in my life.
When making this decision to go out of state I knew I would be leaving something extremely important behind: home.
New York brought me Broadway shows, MSG, Yankee games, Serendipity’s, NYE in NY, and much more. It meant taking Metro North for 45 or 60 or ugh even 72 sometimes, to go shopping in SoHo, see a concert, or go to dinner. It meant small shops in our town that literally wouldn’t allow commercial businesses and taking walks at the landing.
Coming here has made me appreciate those things on such a deeper level. It has also given me tons and tons of stories to tell when trying to get my friends to come visit. I love New York and will always be a New Yorker, and Arizona knows that.
Arizona State University, case closed.
When I got accepted to Arizona State, toured the school and worked the finances I knew this is where I was meant to go.
Not only did it encompass all of my wishes to go to an out of state school, meet new people, experience true independence and keep a tan, but it also felt like home. I enjoy myself here and feel like I am doing important things.
I have an amazing school for my major, where I learn and challenge myself constantly. I have made friends that I never knew could have existed. I wake up to 80 degrees and sunny pretty much every day and the adventures never stop.
Overall, I am so happy with my decision to go to an out of state school, one that was close to 3,000 miles away from home. I can’t wait for the rest of my time here.