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The Student News Site of Hayfield Secondary School

The Harvester News

The Student News Site of Hayfield Secondary School

The Harvester News

A life shaped by sports
Yahia Omar, Staff Writer • May 21, 2024

What to know before going out of state for college

Told by someone who definitely is going far from home!

It’s that time of year where everyone is committing to a college. Bombarded by the question, “Where are you going next year?” It is a difficult but very exciting time in which you choose where you’re gonna be for the next four years. 

If you’re like me who is still deciding before the May commitment deadlines, but whose choices for schools are all out of Virginia, or, if you’re an underclassman already thinking about maybe wanting to go far for college and get out of Virginia, here are things you definitely need to know.

It’s expensive 

Going to college is already expensive in itself, and going out of state is going to put you in a whole new area in which costs and lifestyles may be different from home. Especially if you’re going to a college in/near a major city in a populated state (California, Texas, Florida, New York, etc.) you better make sure you have a good amount of money to help live your college life. Even if you think just because you have a dining plan, live in a dorm, etc. Just remember that you are far from home and if you forget any item, you cannot just make a drive back to go retrieve it, you’ll need to book a flight. Or, if you’re going out with your friends, sometimes food and activities can add up to a big sum. Additionally costs for going back home for break is also very expensive, meaning instead of a long drive or bus ride, you may have to buy flight tickets. Being an out of state student, you are already at a disadvantage in cost. Many people may not realize but your tuition is considered out of state and is much higher than those who are instate paying instate tuition. Therefore before fantasizing about leaving Virginia make sure you research and find out ways to figure out how to afford it. 

However, do not take this as my advice to not apply to out of state schools. You should apply everywhere you want to!! In some instances like mine, going out of state is cheaper than going in state, and you may receive scholarships you never knew you were going to get. 

It’s going to be very far from home

When I was visiting the University of Miami, the school I plan to attend in the fall, it didn’t occur to me just how far it is from Virginia. This distance can be a very good thing as I will be able to grow more independently, but also very difficult as in order to see my family I have to fly all the way home. Like I said before, the distance from home at your out of state college is all what you make of it. However, still, it’s something you must consider before making that commitment to go out of your home state. Another thing you must be familiar with is flying by yourself. If you’re like me who has never flown on an airplane without her parents, it’s an experience that takes time getting used to when flying to a different state by yourself. Nevertheless, being far from your home will make you become an expert on ways to come back home for break. Whether that is finding the best tickets for flights home, taking the train, knowing the bus stops, travelling is going to be a very big chunk of your college experience if you’re far from home. 


You will be exposed into a different culture of life 

Because you’re far from home the environment you are going to be surrounded by will be very different from what you may have been used to. Whether you’re going to the mid west, northeast, south, west coast, these places all have differing lifestyles and cultures. Like all of these components this may be seen as a good thing or bad thing, however these factors are all vital for consideration. Coming from a girl who’s lived in Virginia my whole life, living in Miami Florida for the next four years will definitely take adjusting to. However, nevertheless, being immersed in a new culture of people and life makes me very excited. If you’re someone who likes being in brand new places, perhaps getting out of your home state for college is perfect for you. Additionally, this exposure to new cultures and lifestyles puts you already, in my opinion, ahead of the peers around you. You will become much more open minded and be equipped with excellent communication and social skills due to this new exposure. 

You will need to adapt 

Of course, perhaps the most significant thing to consider and reflect on when going far for college is that you will need to adjust and adapt. Whether that is getting used to the area nearby campus, what’s popular in that state, picking up new lingo etc., being an out of state student there is lots to learn. However, remember that college is a very fun, exciting but also stressful time, so everyone is adjusting as well. You are never alone in the college process, whether you’re in or out of state for school. 

I’m not saying going out of state for college is something you must do or is better than staying in state. However, as someone who used to fantasize about leaving Virginia for college, all these components were things I left out in my mind. Hopefully reflecting or thinking about these factors can help you navigate and determine what you want for your college experience!


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About the Contributor
Jaslyn Truong
Jaslyn Truong, Editor-in-chief
Hi everyone, I am Jaslyn Truong! I love to write and I hope you all enjoy my stories, thank you! As Editor- in-chief I hope you all enjoy the stories by our Harvester News staff. In college, I plan to pursue studying both Political Science and Communications. 

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    Katerina FlorosApr 22, 2024 at 4:51 pm

    Congrats Jaslyn!! I’m so not ready for you to leave