I should definitely preface this post by saying that you’re not sinning if you choose not to go to college or if you choose to go to an in-state college. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with choosing either of those options! However, now that several months have passed since I graduated from an out-of-state college, I can say that I’m really glad that I chose to go there. I encourage you to consider these reasons for attending college out of state if you’re getting ready to enter that season of life:
Reason #1: I was finally able to escape from my family.
Just kidding, y’all. That’s totally a joke. *A la* The Actual Reason #1.
The Actual Reason #1: It was a stretching experience that I really didn’t want to have but really needed to have.
I only applied to one college because I knew that it was a good school. My uncle had gone there, my dad had gone there, and my older sister had started going there a couple years before I did. But the fact that it was give-or-take 600 miles from home was hard for me to grapple with.
Thus, way before I ever started college, I was anxious about it. Was I going to get super homesick? What if I missed my family unbearably but couldn’t go home to see them? What if I wasn’t able to make friends? What if I couldn’t handle college?
Turns out, by the grace of God, I could. Did I miss my family? Of course. Did I dread going back to college after breaks? Uh, duh. Were weekends on campus when everyone else was going home incredibly lonely for me? Absolutely. But I was stretched in ways that I never would’ve been stretched if I had attended an in-state college.
Reason #2: It was worth going out of state to get a Christian education in a Christian environment.
The college I attended wasn’t perfect by any means, but it provided a biblically solid education where I felt cared for by students, staff, and faculty. Christian colleges were few and far between in the area where I grew up, so even though I could’ve attended college in-state and been close to home, I wouldn’t have gotten a Christian education in an environment with lots of other Christians. And being in an environment where Jesus is the foundation is so important before entering the worldly workforce after college.
Reason #3: It taught me to be independent and prepared me for post-college life.
Y’all, it was crazy hard to transition from college to adulthood. Those two seasons of life felt like night and day. But, that being said, going to college out of state truly helped me get a head start on the whole adulthood thing. It helped me develop some very adult-y habits and helped post-college life feel a bit easier.
When You’re Called to Go
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. (Hebrews 11:8-10 ESV)
I know I’m not Abraham simply because I attended an out-of-state college, and I’m not trying to suggest that our situations are the same. But, like Abraham, I was leaving my home with a lot of unsurety. Going to college far from home was a scary experience for me.
Friends, if God has opened the door for you to attend college away from home, what’s holding you back? Are you afraid of being away from your family and friends? Of being alone in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people? Nerves are normal, but fear will only keep you from using God-given opportunities. Going away to college can be an incredible growing experience of your life, and I don’t want you to miss out on it. Pray about it and consider if it’s something that you’re being called to do in faith.
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