Pros & Cons of Attending College In A Different State

Recently I was talking to a friend about how glad we were that we moved to a new state to go to college, and I got the idea to write down some pros and cons into a post for any of my younger readers who might be deciding on where to go to college!

For those of you who are new, I am a first year grad student and am studying speech pathology. I am in a 5 year program to get my Masters, which means I went to the same school for my undergrad and graduate years. I am originally from Illinois, but chose to move to Michigan for college, mainly for the speech path program at my school. While I didn’t want to stay too close to home, I wasn’t necessarily concerned about moving out of state for school and didn’t weigh any pros or cons. It has all worked out well, but I have noticed quite a few pros and cons!

college aged girl walking with backpack on

Pro: You get to live in a new place:
If you are someone who has lived in the same town or state your whole life I HIGHLY recommend going somewhere new for college. There are so many people at my school who have lived in Grand Rapids their whole life and plan on continuing to live there after college even. There’s nothing wrong with GR, but I cannot imagine only living in one town your whole life! There are so many places you could live, and college is the perfect time to test out a new place for a few years. I am in Michigan for school, but I have decided it isn’t where I want to live after college. That doesn’t mean I have hated it these past few years since it was fun to try a new place!

Pro: You get more independence:
If you move far away, you get more independence whether you want it or not. It is up to you to deal with everything, from laundry to housing problems. I think gaining this independence is good, and it is one you might not get if you live at home in college or even if you live only an hour or two away.

Pro: New friends:
While I had a few great friends in high school that I still keep in touch with, I was excited to move to a place where I didn’t know anyone. This forced me to make new friends and branch out more, which is so important in college! I see so many people go to college with high school friends and mainly just stick with those friends through college because it is just easier. But it can be rewarding to make new friends too!

Con: Many people live nearby and go home on the weekends
This was something I wasn’t expecting, but a lot of people at my school are from Grand Rapids or nearby and go home on the weekends. When I lived in the dorms, it was always a bit lonely on the weekends if it was a weekend when I lot of people went home. Since I wasn’t from nearby, I didn’t have that opportunity to go home any weekend I pleased, and sometimes it made me wish I lived closer to home so I could go home too.

Con: All your friends and family live far away
While this can be a pro for independence like I mentioned above, it also is a con if you want to go home and be around people who know you well. Especially freshman year, sometimes I just wished I could hangout with my high school friends for a weekend or go eat a meal with my family instead of another dining hall meal. If you go to school nearby, this is something you can easily do.

Con: You can’t live at home
Personally I never wanted to be a commuter student and was glad I got the experience of living in a dorm. But now that I am in grad school there are quite a few people in my cohort who are living at home now to save money since grad school is so expensive and housing is just an added expense. I am still excited to live with housemates again next year, but if I lived closer to home it could be tempting to live at home and save that rent money.

Did you go to a college nearby your house? Would you move away for school? Share in the comments below! If you want more college content, click here to see all my previous college posts!
xo, Scarlett