Experience out of state college

How students and faculty feel about going out of state for college


McKinley Avenue at Ball State University, Stefani Jackson’s original college decision.

Alex Glaspie, Feature Editor

After leaving high school, newly graduated Stefani Jackson began to prep to leave Michigan for Munsie, IN to her college of choice, Ball State University. Little did she know, her experience at BSU would be short lived and she would soon be spending her days in North Carolina with her family.

After high school, many students will head off to their college of choice, which are usually close to where the individual grew up; however, it is possible that when students go away to college, they go alone, with no familiar faces from their past schools.

“[Moving away] was positive,” Jackson said. “It was almost refreshing seeing new faces and having to remember how to make friends from scratch again. It also pushed me out of my comfort zone which I needed.”

However, Jackson felt that her major wasn’t the right fit and chose to drop-out of college for the time being in order to figure out her future.

“There are times I wish I would have stayed, especially when I think about how much I loved the independence. ” Jackson said. “I could have just changed my major to undecided and stayed there. But, I decided that because it was on the expensive side, it would be best for me to come home and figure out what I want to do in life and then go from there.”

Senior Nicollette Jaye was planning on heading out of state for college, but for her, the drawbacks of going away outweighed the benefits and ultimately, she decided to stay in Michigan at Oakland University.

“I had ideas of going to college out of state, but I realized that I’m not ready to leave home,” Jaye said. “I was planning on moving to Los Angeles and going to UCLA, but I didn’t have much of a reason because I’m still undecided on my major.”

In addition to figuring out where she’s going to college, Jaye also understood why she should stay in Rochester instead of anywhere else.

“I chose that school [Oakland University] because it’s right by my house so I can still live at home,” Jaye said. “I feel secure knowing that I’m going to a college close by because I’m very familiar with the places and roads and I can always travel to somewhere farther anytime.”

Superintendent Robert Shaner voiced his opinion about going to college alone by elaborating on his own personal experience.

I went to college alone,” Dr. Shaner said. “I didn’t know anyone and didn’t have any experience on campus until I went to orientation.  It was exactly what I needed at that time in my life and I was able to keep my friends that went to other schools as well.”

Not all students can feel as secure in leaving home like Dr. Shaner did and many choose to stay close to home. Senior Rayan Rawashdeh had no plans on leaving Michigan whatsoever.

I always wanted to stay kind of close [to home] for my bachelors degree,” Rawashdeh said. “Also I did not want to go far away because there would be no one to come and get me if my car broke down like he [my dad] always does.”

When considering leaving home for school, it’s common that many students will question why they are leaving and dwell on if the college they chose is the right choice. Dr. Shaner believes that following your passion should drive you to the right fit.

My biggest concern when students are choosing their path after high school is that they follow their passion regardless of where you go or what you do,” Dr. Shaner said. “If it includes a student taking a unique path I would encourage them to do so.”

Following a passion can often lead to hard decisions, similar to Jackson determining if she wanted to drop out of college. Even though leaving was the right move for Jackson, it is not what is best for everyone, especially since new experiences and uncomfortable situations, such as going to a new state where everything and everyone is new, can frequently bring out the best versions of people.

“To anyone out there on the fence about a certain school because none of your friends are going, just do it,” Jackson said. “Go. It’s good to have change or else you can’t grow as a person.”