Saturday, June 6, 2020

Column: The pros and cons of going to school out-of-state

April 3, 2020
<p>Sparty rides along during the MSU Homecoming Parade on Oct. 5, 2018 along Grand River Avenue.</p>

Sparty rides along during the MSU Homecoming Parade on Oct. 5, 2018 along Grand River Avenue.

Photo by CJ Weiss | The State News

“Why Michigan State?”

This is the No. 1 question I get asked at parties, in class and at family gatherings. Why I chose to go to school out-of-state isn’t an easy question to answer, so I compiled a list of pros and cons to help those interested in doing the same make a more informed decision.

Pros:

You meet new people everywhere you turn

When I was in high school, my small town in Massachusetts consumed me. It was filled with gossip and everyone somehow knew your business. I wanted to go to a big school where I had the opportunity to establish new connections. At MSU, I meet new people just waiting in line for breakfast.

You will have more options

When it comes to choosing an out-of-state school, the world is your oyster. Sorry that was cringey, but it’s true. You have so many options. You can go to a state you have never been to before, you can go all the way across the country — there are an endless amount of choices.

It will help you become more independent

When you don’t have the option of going home any time you want, you learn how to do more things by yourself. You buy your own essentials, cook your own meals and do your own laundry — all of which are helpful skills to have in the future.

You get to explore somewhere new

For me personally, my home state got pretty boring. I had already explored the ins-and-outs of Massachusetts and wanted a change. Going to MSU allowed me to learn more about a different state and culture. I learned what the UP is and still refuse to call soda, "pop."

You build stronger friendships

Since it didn’t make sense for me to travel all the way back home just for four days during Thanksgiving, I spent that break with my best friend and her family instead. I was so appreciative of them, and it was nice to know I had people to go to if I ever needed anything in Michigan. When you aren't able to see your family as often, you tend to lean on your friends and that isn't such a bad thing.

Cons:

It can be pretty expensive

Tuition can be pretty expensive when you go out-of-state. If you’re like me and decide to go somewhere really far, you also have to pay for plane tickets. Apply for as many scholarships as you can and fill out your financial aid forms, it helps so much! If you really have your heart set on going out-of-state, finding a summer job is also helpful when saving money. 

You might get homesick

There was a time or two when I wanted nothing more than to go home and I couldn’t, like when I was super sick in the middle of January and wanted my mom and chicken noodle soup more than anything. I am telling you though, you will push through these moments and will be so thankful you did. 

Packing can be a hassle

When you have to take a plane to get to your school, there is only so much you can fit into three suitcases. I had to buy a lot of stuff when I got to MSU such as a lamp, ottoman, a comforter and more. Also thank God for my roommate who let me store some things at her house because I don’t know how I would bring a microwave back.

You might grow apart from your hometown friends

Now this tends to happen to people when they go to college in general, so don’t let it deter you from going out-of-state. Although, I did get pretty bummed when I couldn’t go to my high school’s yearly rivalry Thanksgiving game with my hometown friends because I was more than 700 miles away. 

Going out-of-state comes with its fair share of pros and cons. In the end, I am so glad I did — MSU has become my home, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

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