Charlotte Chang is a currently an undergraduate junior at the University of Southern California. She majors in Business Administration and minors in Communication and the Entertainment Industry. Having grown up in a multicultural environment and lived in 3 different continents, she enjoys traveling and learning about unfamiliar cultures. Her professional interests lie within marketing, media and entertainment.
Choosing what college to attend was by far one of the biggest decisions I had to make. And it was definitely a decision worth spending time researching and pondering over, since where you go for college can have a significant impact on your personal and professional growth. I ended up going somewhere far away from home as an international student, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. From my own experience and from my observations on other students, I would strongly encourage incoming freshmen to leave their hometowns for college. Now, I know there are many factors to put into consideration, but if finance or health weren’t big issues, leaving your hometown or your state could benefit you for many reasons including:
1. You learn to be much more independent.
From errands to accommodations to doctor’s appointments, you’re on your own! Or at least you have to find people outside of your family to help you. Also, being far away from your parents gives you more freedom to manage your time and finances responsibly. Welcome to adulthood.
2. You discover that outside of your hometown, there is a whole other world to explore.
Sure, with the development of media and technology, we don’t need to leave our house to know what’s going on outside. But you never REALLY experience cultural, political, and religious differences until you face them personally. You also realize that some stereotypes are real and others are mostly made up.
3. You make new friends who will broaden your horizons, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep in touch with your old friends.
4. You appreciate your hometown a lot more.
Depending on where you’re from, you’ll realize that some things you’ve been taking for granted in your hometown, such as the nice weather, good food, smooth traffic flows or friendly people, were truly precious.
5. You especially appreciate your family more, and you will love and support them even though you’re physically far away from them.
Yes, you will be extremely homesick when you’re suffering from a flu or a cold in bed and your mom isn’t there to make you soup. But you will learn to survive without your family’s constant help and you will realize how much they do for you and how much you’re willing to do for them.
6. You learn that there are many opportunities out there for you, and you shouldn’t be restricted.
There are many career options out there, and many of them are more popular in or specific to certain areas. You could be a great fit for the film industry but were just never exposed to it. Leaving your hometown and meeting new people could then potentially help you discover new interests and goals.
7. You become a more adaptable person, which is crucial to surviving the real world.
Overall, you learn to accept differences and embrace others for who they are. You learn that there’s no absolute rights or wrongs, and you learn to find yourself and stay true to yourself.