Some people go to college in their hometown. Since I'm from Waco, Texas (home of Baylor University), I get that. Half of my graduating class & one of my younger brothers attend Baylor. I think that might be an interesting experience to be in college where I grew up & to see what its like from a completely new perspective, but that's obviously not how it worked out for me.
Here I am, not unlike hundreds of other people here on MC's campus, at a school hundreds of miles away from where I live. I wouldn't trade it for the world, namely because I know that I am exactly where I am meant to be, but there are times that it gets hard being so far from home.
There are the obvious hardships, such as the length of a drive home. For me, it's not practical to go home on a weekend at all because I would almost spend more time in my car than in my house. Then there are the other more difficult aspects: missing a little sibling's playoff basketball game or your Dad's birthday dinner, as well as simply missing your family in general because you hardly get to see them. Going to college far away from home can be rough & it certainly takes some getting used to, but despite that, it is unbelievably worth it. I promise.
One of the neatest things about being so far away from home is that college is a fresh start. Even if you go to college in your hometown, college marks a new beginning, but for those of us who go down the road an hour or two, or out of state, college is a foreign land. I came to a place where I didn't know practically anyone & no one knew me, & that has been such a growing experience. College far away from home is a new beginning to a life where you get to decide who you want to be.
One of the ways by which you can define yourself is in the friends you make. A lot of times if you go to a college far away from where you live, you don't know a lot of people (or anyone) there. For some, this may be a little daunting, but there is truly so much joy in getting to make friends who will support you through college & beyond. Make friends with people of different backgrounds & with different life stories than you. When you're far away from home, it's easier than you would think & incredibly rewarding.
Another defining decision you make that you might never have made on your own before in your entire life concerns where to go to church. For most people who go to college in their hometown, that's not a necessary decision to make. But for anyone else, it's big one. Getting to make that decision allows you to spend time in prayer seeking God's will, as well as many a Sunday checking out the nearby churches.
Being at school so far away from your parents can also teach you a lot about relying on the Father more than ever before. God is always beside you when life is at its roughest & He's also there beside you in the most joyful of moments. He sustains, He comforts, & He loves unconditionally. When you're states away from your parents, you can rest in the knowledge that God, the good, good Father, is in control.
Going to school seven & a half hours away from where I grew up really did seem crazy to me at first, & I can only imagine how people from California or New York or Florida must have felt before they came to MC. I was scared to miss out on life back home, but that's not what God wanted for me at all & it isn't what He wants for you. College is a time to experience new life & it's awesome if that gets to happen five miles from home or five hundred. So here's to that beautiful sort of perspective for our time in college!
proud Texan (what else would you expect me to say?)