For many high schoolers, college means one thing: getting the heck outta their home towns. Whether you’re from a small town or a big city, you’ll find that most seniors are searching for the complete opposite of their current situations. But I felt completely different. Being close to home and staying in New Jersey felt like the best choice.
I love where I live
If you ask a group of teens to take a survey in New Jersey, about 90 percent will say it’s the most boring and terrible place in existence. But I beg to differ. We have everything there is to offer. You could be laying on the beach one second, and then an hour drive later, hike on some of the most scenic trails. Depending on where you live in the state, there are two of the world’s most infamous cities, New York and Philly, at your disposal.
Living in New Jersey means that my diet consists of bagels, pizza, and subs. No other state can compare to this trifecta. I’ve heard horror stories from my friends at out-of-state schools of their bagel quality, and I just can’t even imagine biting into my TAYLOR HAM, egg, and cheese and not having it taste like heaven. And let’s be real, we’re called the Garden State for a reason.
This was a huge factor in deciding what school to attend. I mean, the difference in tuition from out-of-state vs. in-state at the end of four years could buy me a nice Beamer. In all seriousness, I felt that my education would not be sacrificed just because I stayed in-state. Out-of-state schools didn’t offer anything differently academically than a New Jersey school could, and, at the end of the day, I’m going to school to earn my degree and to be prepared for the real world. For me, staying in-state seemed like the best bang for my buck.
Visits from friends
Whenever my friends from out-of-state schools come home for the holidays or for the weekend, I usually have the chance to go home and see them or have them come visit me. Admit it, everyone wants to show off how great their school is, and what better way to do that than to bring your friends for a visit.
Home cooked meals and hugs
I think the best part of going to college in-state is that I can easily escape the dreaded dining hall food. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I do get homesick, and it’s comforting to know that I’m only an hour away if I ever need a hug from my parents. Though I don’t suggest doing this too often, it’s nice to come home on the weekends every once in awhile. Sometimes you just need a break from the college life and a good night’s rest in your own bed, and I’m so glad I have that accessibility.
Everyone is different when it comes to what they want out of the college experience. I am forever grateful that I have the opportunity to get everything I want from college–a great education, a lifetime of memories, and my home an hour down the road.