We hear so many students say that they want to get as far away as possible – only to come home after a semester. Others won’t even consider a school outside of their area and later regret not using the chance to branch out and experience something different. When it comes to picking the location of your college, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you looking for a totally unique experience than what you’ve grown up with (i.e. move from a small town to a big city) or somewhere in between?
- Do you want the safety and quiet of a rural campus or do you want to experience big city life?
- On weekends, will you want to remain on campus or be near other colleges and nightlife?
- Are you looking for a location that offers special interests, such as skiing or art museums?
- If you’ve grown up with snow, are you looking for sunny weather and beaches?
- How often do you want to go home and how will you do so? Traveling by air can be very expensive and may not be an option if you find yourself homesick.
- Lastly, are you adaptable to change and comfortable in new situations or do you need the familiarity of home nearby?
Once you have an idea of what type of location you want, start researching what to expect. Visit a variety of campuses, talk to students who have chosen the type of location you’re interested in and continue to ask yourself if it feels right to you. Once you’ve zeroed in on a school, be sure to visit it. That's especially critical if it’s far from home as you want to make sure being far away is what you really want.
One word of advice: don’t automatically rule out schools that are nearby. Even if you’re sure you want to leave the area, local campuses are a great first step in educating yourself on what you want in a college. You never know - you may find your ideal school right under your nose!