To Stay Or To Leave


To stay or to leave.

I am not in college yet and I know that it’s still so far away, but I have made one of the hardest decisions of my life: applying to out of state colleges. I know that it may not be hard for some people to apply to out of state colleges, especially if you know Michigan isn’t for you, but I love Michigan and all of my family lives here, so it was a big decision for me. If you too are facing the question of whether or not to apply to an out of state college, here are some things that helped me reach my decision.

Talk to your family: My whole family lives in Michigan; both sides of my family were born and raised here and only one of my cousins have gone to an out of state college. I know that you can come home for Holidays, but it’s different. You don’t have the comfort of being able to call your grandmother and ask her to go to lunch with you. So, talk to your family. Express your concerns to someone you can trust to give you an honest answer and listen to what they have to say.

Weigh your options: Can you stay in state to save money and then move after? Do you really want to go to this school for the academics or for the people? Choosing a school should definitely be based on the academics and whether or not they have the major you want to study, but you also need to look at the people. Is this the atmosphere that you want to be in? Especially if you don’t exactly know what you want to major in just yet, you have to look at what else the school offers besides its academics. Also, if money is an issue, take a look at ALL of the in state colleges and not just the major universities because there are many great options in Michigan.

Look up schools that are known for your major: A lot of people don’t know what they want to do for sure when they are seventeen or eighteen years old, however, I am lucky because I found something that really interests me and I know I would enjoy doing for the rest of my life. I looked up the top schools for that major and then started research on the ones that really interested me. Of course, you don’t have to choose one of those, but in all honesty, if you don’t know what you want to do exactly, you should have a basic idea of what to look for when looking at an out-of-state college.

Think about yourself: Can you be successful away from home in a new place without any family and friends? Or would you be too distracted with being in a new place where all you would want to do is have fun and explore? For me, I am really into exploring new places, so at first I was skeptical about leaving Michigan because I thought I would not be in the right mind send when leaving college, but I would rather have things to do then be here in Michigan doing my usual routine. Also, I had to think about whether or not I could bring myself to leave all of my friends. Of course everyone is going to leave at one point or another, and people are going to drift away. But I have a couple people that I am extremely close to in lower grades that will be in Forest Hills for a couple more years, and leaving them hurts my heart. I must remember that we can still communicate, and that I will come home eventually. So, think about that. Can you see yourself moving? 

I have looked at the Senior Edition of our magazine for the past three years and have been in awe of how many people decide to leave Michigan for college and also how many people have decided to come back because they didn’t feel their decision was the right one. It’s ultimately you deciding what you want your life to be and how you see your future, so don’t take it lightly.