Going to School 1,730 Miles From Home

By: Rose Mannas

Campus Sherpa Staff Writer, The University of San Francisco

I think that most people who end up going to school far away fall into two separate camps: escape from their parents or coincidental. I fall into the second category, and you might, too. But if you are looking to escape your parents, going to school over 1,700 miles isn’t a bad option. Let me show you some of my thoughts right off of my pros and cons list:

Pros:

•Being stranded can kind of be a fun experience.

•Some people think you have an accent which you swear you do not.

•If you know you want to live in your hometown when you get a real job, why not try something different for once.

•If your parents are financially supporting you, it may be fun to try somewhere completely out of your bubble.

•Your experience is so unique to your friends that you always have lots to talk and laugh about.

•You are forever entertained by the strange things you find different in the place you go to school at (did you know my Californian friends don’t have Waffle House?).

Cons:

• Travel is expensive- you may not get to come home as often as you’d really want.

• It is really hard to convince yourself to move somewhere without any support system. • It majorly sucks to watch friends at different schools still hang out without you.

• Visiting multiple times may be out of the question, so the decision might not feel certain.

It can be so hard to weight the pros and cons. I know that I struggled with it for quite some time. For me, it was really hard to step away from the ‘easy’ choice, which was the inexpensive state school where I am from. That inexpensive state school is also where my parents both went and my sister currently goes to. Tough call, I know. It took me a long time to really accept that this choice was the best for me, and it was what I truly wanted. To be honest, you only go to undergraduate school once (hopefully).

You might think that homesickness is a real problem. Thankfully, it has not affected me much at all, but I have seen many friends struggle with it and even return home because of it. I always cry when I get dropped off at the airport. It doesn’t matter if I am going back from Thanksgiving break and returning in 2.5 weeks for Christmas break! Something about being dropped off and my mom driving away gets to me every time. Does it suck? Of course. Is it worth it? Of course.

I always keep reminding myself why I do it. Sometimes I can get into this mode like, “why does it have to be like this? I make it so hard on myself.” It’s true, going far away usually isn’t the easy choice when it comes to college, but I urge you to reflect back on why you chose that school in the first place. What things have you discovered there that you love? Let me show you some things that lift my spirits:

  1. It’s not forever if you don’t want it to be. Sure, I could take a job in San Francisco and only return to Dallas once a year to see my parents during the holidays. But for now, I plan on moving back to Texas.

  2. Your parents get along fine without you. Sometimes I feel like my parents love having me home too much and leaving them makes them sad. I know they feel sad that I am going, but that sadness is overridden with the pride they have in what I am accomplishing.

  3. This is not a unique experience. I always feel better when I think of someone I know who is going to school even farther than I am. For me, those are friends that go to St. Andrew’s in Scotland. YES— SCOTLAND! How can I be bummed about only going home 3 times a semester when they go home once a year?

Going to school far away feels like you are tearing a piece of your heart out. But I think it has made me into a more independent and healthy adult. With the technology today, you can talk to family across the globe daily if you so please. I believe that having the best college experience overrules the temporary sadness I feel walking into the airport doors after a great trip back home.

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