The giant white envelope was shaking in my hands. Although I knew what was inside, I was still nervous. Here goes nothing, I thought, and opened up the white envelope that contained my future. I pulled out the letter and took a breath before I read it. Congratulations! You have been accepted to St. John’s University! One of my tops colleges wanted me, and I was ecstatic.
But I soon came to realization that this university was out-of-state, and out-of-state meant that it would cost more money than usual. As I put the acceptance letter down, I noticed that I had received scholarship money as well. It was an added benefit, but still didn’t even cover half of my tuition.
After careful consideration, I decided that this school seemed to be the best option for me. Not only was it located in New York and only a 40 minute subway ride from Manhattan, but it has the traditional campus feel while being in an urban setting. It seemed like the best place for any and every opportunity, and as I said, I received scholarship money to cover some of the cost. Despite my parents having to pay way more out-of-pocket than expected, I took the risk and made the decision to go there.
Many would argue that you can get a good college education no matter where you go and save money by staying in state However, I chose to go to a college that was out-of-state to receive an experience I may not have had back home at a in state college. Am I saying that my experience at a out of state college is better than those who choose to go in state? Absolutely not. If you have the option of going to an out-of-state college, that provides an excellent array of resources and experiences that will benefit YOU, then you should go there.
My university has given me so many incredible and valuable life experiences. Not only did I choose to go to a school that is almost five hours away, but I knew no one who had went there, or was going there with me. I was on my own and I was terrified. I distinctly remember waving goodbye to my family on the first day of freshman year, holding back tears as I realized I was alone and had to start all over again. I began to make friends and connections that year, and even joined a sorority that has immensely added to my college experience and allowed me to be the highest type of woman. I have become more independent than before, developed life skills, such as budgeting, buying my own groceries, paying bills, cooking meal, and looking for off campus housing.
Going to an out-of-state college also gave me the chance to gain new cultural experiences. It’s no secret that New York City is a hub of diversity, so attending a university that welcomes many cultures, religions, races, and ethnicities, has truly opened up a world of learning. From living in a new geographical location to trying new foods, and even taking advantage of one of several study abroad programs, I have gained some of the best world experiences. Over the course of three years, I have fallen in love with a city and seen more than I probably would have going to a school in state.
I took a risk by attending an out-of-state college, but it was a risk that I am so ever grateful of. My life would be 100% different if I had chosen a college closer to home. Your experience where you choose to go to college and what you make of it is completely up to you. If you are given the chance to attend a college that is out-of-state, take that risk of going somewhere you’ve never been before, despite paying more.
You never know what sort of scholarships or financial aid you may receive that can support your decision for school. I can tell you from experience that going to an out-of-state college will be worthwhile and learn to appreciate so many more things in life. So take that risk, and seize that opportunity given, because you never know when you will get a chance like this again.
Featured Image via College Weekly.