Why Attending School Far From Home Is Actually Good For You

Story by Tiffany Cline
Photo Courtesy of Tessa Harvey

Being far from home isn’t as bad as everyone might think.

When not at school, I live in Virginia Beach, Virginia, which is about a 14-hour drive from Mount Pleasant.

And since starting school last year I can say that I have had no regrets with choosing a school so far from home. People always ask, “So, how did you end up at Central Michigan University if you are from Virginia?” Well, when you have a school as awesome as CMU and a school that offers 20 full-rides, you better believe I was going to be applying.

It’s safe to say that I know what it is like to not be home for a few months, and during my time here, I’ve noticed a few perks to being so far from home.

Newfound Independence

When I was a freshman, I was 17 years old and living almost completely on my own. If I needed my mom’s help, I would have to call her and hope for the best.

It was really strange at first – I had never been gone from home for more than two weeks my entire life, and now I wasn’t going home for 3 months.

I am not going to sugar coat it and say that my first semester of college was great and that I loved being far from home, because I hated it. I quickly became homesick. College was kicking my butt and stealing any motivation I had left. I called my mom at least once a week crying, saying I was going to transfer to a school in Virginia.

Once I came back for second semester, however, I was busier because I had a job and an internship and I began to reap the rewards of being far from home.

Many of my friends would go home every other weekend and come back missing home even more. I, on the other hand was able to completely do everything on my own and focus on myself.

Instead of going home I would pick up extra shifts at work, or I would get ahead on my homework. I would take time to do things for me like go to hot yoga or clean my entire room.

This is the same for my second year of college.

I haven’t seen my parents since August and I can honestly say it has helped me grow so much as an individual. I make my own decisions, for my own future. I have more time to hang out with friends and I have so much freedom that there is no way I won’t be able to handle anything life throws my way.

So if you’re far from home, or if you’re close and choose to do your own thing, whenever you get sad and really miss home just remind yourself of how much you are growing as an individual and how much that is going to help you after college.

A New Appreciation for Family 

Another positive about being far from home is the greater appreciation you have for family time when you’re home.

When I was younger, I didn’t care as much about spending time with my family, and I would just do my own thing because I knew I would see them in a few hours. As soon as I moved away for school I quickly began to realize how much time I really spent with my family.

So each time I go home, I try to spend more quality time with my parents and siblings. I know that my time with them will come to an end because in a few days, weeks or months I will be heading back up to Michigan.

It’s so nice to finally be able to realize how much you love your family and spending time with them because when you do it every day or even every other weekend you can often take that for granted.

If you’re far from home, or even if you are close, and you are finding yourself counting down the days to go home just remember these things: you have an amazing opportunity to grow as a person which many people do not get, so take advantage of that. You also have the opportunity to truly find a new appreciation for family time so be grateful for the time that you get.

With the holidays right around the corner, be grateful for your family and for the opportunities you have been given. When things are tough, just remember to think on the bright side.