Going to college is a major life milestone for many young people, and that means there’s a lot to consider as you make your decision. From choosing what subject you’d like to major in to working out whether or not you’re going to work alongside your studies, there’s plenty you need to research and work out before proceeding. But perhaps the most important decision you’ll need to make is about location. If you like being around buzzing cultural venues near major transport hubs, for example, you might want to consider college in a big city. And if you’re looking to use your college experience as a way to deepen your sense of adventure and broaden your horizons, a move across the county may be in order. This article will look at some of the top location-based questions you’ll need to answer before you make up your mind.
Close to Home?
There’s a perception among some people that going to college necessitates a move away from wherever you already are. But that doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, it sometimes makes sense to stick around. This may be because of personal circumstances, such as if you have caring responsibilities at home. Or it may just be that you already have a life established in a location you love and you don’t want to uproot it. If you’re a mature student, it may well be the case that you’ve got a young family in kindergarten or a partner with a job, and in those cases, it may be wise to avoid moving them hundreds of miles away.
However, some people like to use their college opportunity as a chance to broaden their horizons and discover somewhere new. College is, after all, a time for exploring new ideas and experiences, so exploring a new location can be a good move. This is especially common for younger people who have just graduated from high school, although it’s possible for anyone to make the move at any stage of life.
Before making your decision, it’s a good idea to first get some experience with being far away from home. Why not consider attending or volunteering at camp, for example, or going on a road trip with friends? By doing this, you’ll be able to work out how you cope with homesickness and culture shock and build up an arsenal of defenses that you can use when you do move away.
Urban or Country
The type of place you plan to move to is also important. Whether you go to a city or small town college can impact your whole college experience, including the diversity of the people you meet and the choice of entertainment and culture options. As a general rule, colleges located in city centers have more nightlife, but – depending on the city – they may also be more expensive, and the quality of life may not be as good. Small town colleges, meanwhile, boast fresh air and quiet living, although there can be less to do there outside of the confines of the college.
Deciding between urban and country doesn’t mean you have to swap one for the other. Some people who grow up in an urban area decide they could never possibly see themselves living anywhere other than a big city and might end up swapping Los Angeles for New York or Seattle for San Francisco. Others who live in a metropolis might feel as though the fresh air and relaxed pace of life at a college campus in a more rural part of a state is a good move and can use a college campus finder to find a place with those features. Often, it’s a good idea to visit the place you plan to move to for college before you confirm your spot, even if this is expensive or an inconvenience: it may change your mind and prevent you from making a decision you later live to regret.
When picking a location for college, it’s important to think about what you want out of your higher education experience. If you’re keen to stay in (or move to!) the hustle and bustle, then a big city is a good choice, but if you want a quieter experience and a strong sense of local community, a small town campus may be a better fit. With so many top quality colleges available across the US, you’re sure to be able to find one either close to home or further afield – whichever suits your needs.