The Perks of Going Far Away for College

*this appears in Spanish in our Barones Bilingues section*


Amanda Sosa

“I’m really excited to be in the warm weather, near the beach, and in a more laid-back environment where I’m sure I’ll have incredible experiences that I wouldn’t be able to have if I stayed in the East-Coast,” professed Mercedes Tijerino, a B-CC senior who will be attending San Diego State University next fall. 

Attending a distant college can be a daunting prospect for many, as you are suddenly thrust into a new lifestyle characterized by greater burden and responsibility. However, many seniors in this year’s graduating class appear ready to embrace this forecast, believing that certain benefits, such as increased independence and new experiences, will undoubtedly compensate for any minor drawback.

Mercedes, who has spent her entire life visiting California, says she has “always felt drawn to the state due to having relatives there and it feeling so comfortable.” 

Another B-CC senior, Ava Pilot, who will attend St Andrew’s University in Scotland next fall, points out another advantage of attending a faraway institution: increased academic options, which will be especially beneficial to her as an Earth and Environmental science major.

“I love the earth and science program I got into–great professors, amazing fieldwork, and a small science community,” said Ava–adding that she’s also excited to broaden her worldview and explore new places: “I’ll be able to take really easy and cheap flights all over Europe, allowing me to travel a lot.” 

Rachel Pastreich, who will attend Boston University in the fall, claims that “the school offers an excellent and in-depth program for my major, international relations.” She also looks forward to meeting new people and cultures, saying, “There are many international students at BU, so I’m excited to meet students from all over the world and learn about their cultures.”

Milena Honku, a senior who will be attending Barnard College Berlin, Germany, this fall, expresses a similar sentiment, stating, “I’m excited to be exposed to a new culture.” She also looks forward to becoming more self-sufficient and experiencing living in a new region, adding, “I’m looking forward to having my own space and becoming independent–growing up, I was always obsessed with those living abroad vlogs on youtube, so I’m definitely very excited.” 

Again, this is not to say that traveling farther away for college does not have its drawbacks. Ava expressed her concerns about traveling so far, claiming, “The distance was definitely a major factor in my decision. I had to consider flights, homesickness, and the large time differences.” Mercedes carried similar concern, adding, “I didn’t choose the West Coast because it was so far away from my family. I wish it was closer. But I didn’t want to abandon my dream of moving to California just to be near people.”

Nevertheless, this should not discourage anyone from stepping outside their comfort zone and taking a leap of faith as they embark on this new chapter of their lives. Discomfort is what enables development, self-discovery, and the capacity for a new beginning, which is what these seniors seek as well.