Students debate leaving home for college


Staying at home eases stress

Dorothy was right when she said “There’s no place like home.” The thought of college is scary enough as it is, but leaving home is even more frightening. After leaving for an out of state college, you’ll be clicking your heels wishing you were home.

Sure, it’s good to go out and experience the world, but doing it right out of high school is frightening. Home is definitely where the heart is. It’s also where free food is. I’ve always been a Mama’s girl so I’m not quite ready to give up home cooked meals and of course, having my laundry neatly folded on my bed.

I never fully understood how expensive college was until it was time for me to apply. Let’s just say my shopping days are coming to an end. Out of state college is even more expensive because paying for housing is mandatory.

According to the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s website, the average cost of living on-campus while being a full time student is $19,320 a year. Living off-campus is $18,770 a year. Compared to an out of state college such as the University of Missouri at Columbia is $36,180 for full time students living on-campus.

When I thought about living in the dorms at the UNO, I couldn’t help but think “What if I don’t like my roommate?” Thousands of students live on-campus and it would be just my luck to be stuck with someone who lacked personal hygiene.

Aside from gross roommates, there are other factors that made me hesitant about moving out of Nebraska. I thought “Maybe I should apply to a school known for journalism,” but then I realized I would just be another student lost in pool of up and coming journalists. Sure, UNO isn’t known for journalism, but at least now I will be able to stand out a little more when it comes to my major.

From what I hear, college keeps you busy. From studying for exams, to trying to shred the freshmen 15 you gained in your first semester, the pressure is on. Living at home provides a comfortable place to go so you won’t be distracted by parties or the pizza shop just minutes away from your dorm.

I plan to have fun in college, but I also want to graduate in four years. Living away from home would just stress me out even more which would probably distract me from my studies. College life is going to get busy, which is why I’m glad I can go to the comfort of my own home for some down time.

Also, in-state colleges will help with networking. Because I am studying in Omaha, I will be able to get internships at local newspapers I have been reading since I learned how to spell. When attending in-state colleges, you will be more accessible to opportunities because you are familiar with. Gaining confidence is hard enough as it is, but when you already have a certain degree of comfort, your confidence rises.

Look at Dorothy for example, she was just a young girl ready for adventure who ended up missing her home like crazy. My mom always says “Be a kid while you can,” well, I can and I will. I have my whole life to go out and experience the world, but for now I need to focus on school where I am most comfortable. Just remember as you pack your bags and approach your new home, chances are you will probably be clicking your heels wishing you didn’t leave in the first place.

Ashley Quintela
Editor in Chief 

Take a leap of faith going out of state

I’ve never planned on staying in Nebraska for college. Born and raised in the Omaha area, I’ve always dreamed of the day where I could finally move somewhere else and be on my own. I never dreamed where–just anywhere but here.

Junior year is probably the scariest time of your adolescent life. Counselors, teachers and parents try their best to prepare you for the upcoming years, but really all they do is scare you into choosing a lifestyle you never intended to have by only pointing out the negatives of going out of state. During this time I started to realize how expensive it is to attend out of state colleges.

Summer before my senior year when I was working as a camp counselor, I was talking to my boss about my upcoming years. I told him although I desperately wanted to attend The University of Missouri at Columbia (MU) because of their outstanding journalism program, I’d probably be stuck at The University of Nebraska at Lincoln (UNL) because we couldn’t afford it.

After I’d basically given up on the dream of ever living anywhere but here, my boss convinced me. He has his own pile of debt from recently finishing out of state college, and while he admitted it was rough, he wouldn’t trade his experience for the world. The different cultures he experienced by moving somewhere new, along with the quality education he received made it worth it. This was the one time in my life where debt was worth the hassle. He got me thinking: should I take the risk?

Yes. And I did. For once in my life I decided to take a leap of faith by soon attending a college that’s five sweet hours away from home.

If you were never a star athlete and didn’t receive a 32 on your ACT, your options seem limited. But what you don’t learn from elders is that scholarships aren’t the only way to knock some dollar signs off your tuition.

The Midwest Student Exchange Program allows out of state students to receive the tuition at or near what residents would receive in colleges in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri Nebraska, North Dakota and Wisconsin. Also, most colleges allow some form of in state tuition after you’ve lived there for a certain period of time.

For a while I never thought I’d be accepted into an out of state college. GPA, class rank, ACT score and course requirements seemed significantly higher than in state. However, most colleges make exceptions from whatever the “requirement” is. For MU I only had to meet the ACT score and GPA requirements. Class rank didn’t matter.

Also, their website listed all of the “required” high school courses a student must take to be accepted. When I saw them, I had my dad call the counselor to change my schedule in a panic; I never took an art class. All art classes were full for both semesters so we emailed the admissions office at Missouri to see if I still had a chance of getting in. They said they waive one of the so-called course requirements during the admissions process. While it may appear that out of state colleges expect more out of you, it’s all for show.

Out of state colleges open up so many opportunities. Neither UNL nor The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) have my intended major: Convergence Journalism. Sure, if all else fails, I could feasibly get around this by double majoring.

But why settle? Looking outside Nebraska gave me the chance to major in something directly related to what I want to do with my life (backpack journalism) without having to work twice as hard to achieve it.

Even if in-state colleges already have your major, they most likely won’t provide you with the same networking potential as some could. Going to a college that’s known for your major can exponentially increase your chances of not only finding the job you want, finding a job right out of college.

Last, but certainly not least, you’ll be out of Nebraska (or whatever state you live in). If you’re like me, you haven’t lived in more than one town your entire life. The state you live in is like an itchy turtle neck you’ve been wearing for 18 years. I promise, it won’t choke you while you’re trying to take it off.

Hailey Stolze
Editor in Chief