5 Benefits of Going to College Close to Home

A welcome home mat to signify the importance of staying close to home

There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home! While many people like Dorothy want to venture off to a place far away, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. There are a lot of benefits of staying close to home for college. I’ve learned this myself after staying home and transferring to Rowan, which is only 20 minutes away from me.

Here are 5 benefits that I have experienced!

Saving money

Let’s face the facts — college is expensive! When I was a freshman who first started out, I was blown away with the amount of money that was needed. I was always thankful that I didn’t go far away or go out of state for college.

According to educationdata.org, “[for] students who are not residents of the state where they are attending school, the tuition and fees are frequently much higher,” which a lot of people may regret down the line. Instead, I went the other way and ended up saving a bunch of money while living in a room twice the size of my friends who live on campus. 

Being closer to family

Family is something I hold dear to my heart. I grew up in a small but very close family who lives mostly within the Northeast. Being able to be around family and visit them at any time is huge in college. Many people often are homesick on campus at times and are not able to go visit until the semester ends. By staying close to home, I don’t miss those precious moments with my great great aunt or little cousins who I love. I get to physically be there to see how they change and grow as people instead of being stuck thousands of miles away looking through a screen and reading letters.

Christian walks with a friend down Rowan Boulevard

Being in an environment that you know

If there’s any sports fan out there then they know how much home-field advantage can mean in life. For me, I have lived in the area for 10 years. I have explored a lot of local places in the area and know the hot food places, what to do for fun in the area, and little places that anyone who is a local would know about. Many people who chose to go far away from college are often stuck being on campus or in an area that they know nothing about, that doesn’t feel like home and could be not as a good environment compared to where they were.

For me, I still get to go to all of my favorite places anytime that I want. Also, a lot of assignments in college tend to be locally based. If the person you are interacting with for an assignment is from the same area from you or knows where you live, then you have a huge advantage compared to others.

More internships/job opportunities

Speaking about job opportunities, getting an internship and job opportunities is a lot easier when you live in the area. People tend to talk to others in the same local field area. For me, I got a ton of photography jobs that I wouldn’t have been offered or able to do if I didn’t stay at home. People saw my face all of the time when I went to a local pizza shop to grab a slice or when I went out taking photos in the area. If an employer is able to connect with you on a personal level such as living close to the area and having similar life experiences, it can make all the differences in the world for you! Also instead of worrying about where to go once you are back home looking for a job, you have work experience in the local area that you are going for.

Christian talks with a fellow intern inside the Welcome Center on Rowan Boulevard

Being able to commute

There is truly no better feeling in the world than seeing your own doctors, dentist, and barbers that you have known for years. Living close to home means that I can easily travel between home and school. Also unlike most freshmen who can not bring cars with them on campus, I am not stuck on campus and free to go whenever I want to. It also is very convenient in situations like when you have to get something like a birth certificate for a local internship or you leave something that you need at home. Instead of not being able to get that item that you need or traveling two hours away back home like some of my friends, I can just go in and out in out the house — saving a lot of time! 

a close up portrait of christian.

Staying at home was the best decision for me. There are a lot of benefits that many people don’t realize until they sit back and think about it. Hopefully for those staying close to home like me, take advantage of the perks of staying locally!

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Story by:
Christian A. Browne, communication studies major

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My Experience of Making Friends as a Commuter

What Commuter Life is Really Like

My Life As a Rowan University Commuter