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  1. #1
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    ritaylnil's Avatar
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    Going Away to College vs Staying Home & Commuting

    I'd like some input from both parents and college students/young adults. My daughter blew her junior year in high school. Her SATs are decent and we're hoping her senior year somewhat mitigates the crappy grades from last year. If she doesn't get into a SUNY school, she won't be going away. She will stay home and go to the local community college for at least the first year. At first this was a big let down, but now I'm beginning to think that going away to college is just one big excuse for non-stop partying and that she may do terribly at academics if she goes away. Maybe after a few years of maturity, going away would be a better option, like for her junior and senior years. On the other hand, I want her to have that college experience of going away from the beginning. What are your thoughts, folks?
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  2. #2
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    Re: Going Away to College vs Staying Home & Commuting

    Commuting basically makes college glorified High School, IMO.
    Life is a Waste of Time, Time is a Waste of Life, so let's get Wasted all the Time, and have the Time of our Lives

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  3. #3
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    Re: Going Away to College vs Staying Home & Commuting

    Rita, as a student who went away I have to say it was the best thing for me at the time - It forced me to grow up!! I matured and grew more independent because of the experience of being away. I don't think I would have matured as much at home vs, going away. I could'nt turn to Mom and Dad every time I got into a jam, I had to figure it out on my own. Sometimes I made mistakes, but not huge ones (mostly mixing colored's and whites and ended up with red underwear, which the girl's thought was "cute"). In the end, I became a Man, I was no longer a boy.
    The 11th Commandment - "Thou shall NEVER count out The New York Yankees"

  4. #4

    Re: Going Away to College vs Staying Home & Commuting

    Quote Originally Posted by GraniteYankee
    Rita, as a student who went away I have to say it was the best thing for me at the time - It forced me to grow up!! I matured and grew more independent because of the experience of being away. I don't think I would have matured as much at home vs, going away. I could'nt turn to Mom and Dad every time I got into a jam, I had to figure it out on my own. Sometimes I made mistakes, but not huge ones (mostly mixing colored's and whites and ended up with red underwear, which the girl's thought was "cute"). In the end, I became a Man, I was no longer a boy.
    Well said!

    My college dorm days are definately near the top of my list of experiences from my 24 years so far.

  5. #5

    Re: Going Away to College vs Staying Home & Commuting

    Definitely go away!!! I agree with GraniteYankee's post, but it's much more than that. Nothing can substitute the freshmen year of college. She will mature, learn a lot about herself and others, and appreciate home. Also I know way too many people who went to community college, and never bothered to continue. Just because she's at a community college, doesn't mean there won't be partying.

  6. #6
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    Re: Going Away to College vs Staying Home & Commuting

    Quote Originally Posted by YankeeClemens22
    My college dorm days are definately near the top of my list of experiences from my 24 years so far.
    Hell Yeah my college years were way better than high school.

    But Rita, I graduated college 3 year ago. I could definately say that after my freshmen and sophmore years (MANY KIDS LEFT) for the simple reason that they did not always make smart choices while in college, could not handle the independence or the responsibility that come with going away to college. Community College was the better choice for them or they had to honestly rethink their plans for going to college period because college just isn't for everyone. It is alright to party, but you also have to buckle down and study. That is very hard for some college kids. I would still let her go away. After the 1st year evaluate her grades and have a honest talk as to where she should go from there. You don;t want to be wasting time and money.

    My best friend who is 25 like me went to college in the Fall of 1999. I went in the Fall of 1998. I went to SUNY Cortland and finished with a B.S. in 2002 and my friend? Well, she is still in college at John Jay which is a CUNY. My point? She stayed and didn't go away because of her boyfriend and she wanted to work to make money. Very bad move. I say, go away, make new friends. To me going away made me more independent and provided me with less distractions from home and with friends. Being a person who was born and raised in NYC, lemme tell ya it was not a good idea for me to stay in NYC for college.

  7. #7
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    Re: Going Away to College vs Staying Home & Commuting

    While I understand your concerns, I've found that no matter what I or my friends did about going away or commuting to college, we ALL partied. But going away definitely made me grow up and learn to pay my own bills, shop for my own food, do laundry, etc and that I had to be responsible for myself because no one else was going to be. Valuable experience in my opinion.

  8. #8
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    Re: Going Away to College vs Staying Home & Commuting

    My parents made me stay home my first year and it was the most miserable year of my life. I absolutely hated it. There is absolutely no social aspect of CCs, and the average age of people there is like 29. This is my second year and OU and I love it. I can't imagine having stayed home again. I would have croaked.
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  9. #9
    1918+2004=2090 caroline331's Avatar
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    Re: Going Away to College vs Staying Home & Commuting

    I went away one year, didnt like my school, and wanted to transfer after that one year. Then my parents told me (after I had filled out all the applications) that I couldnt go away again because they needed the money for my sister's education (she just graduated from Willliams College--- one of the most expensive schools in the country).

    I wound up commuting and hated every minute of it. The only advantage of this is that I had money because I worked about 45 hour weeks. I didn't enjoy anything that most college age kids did
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  10. #10
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    Re: Going Away to College vs Staying Home & Commuting

    You definately should not read "I am Charlotte Simmons!"

  11. #11

    Re: Going Away to College vs Staying Home & Commuting

    I commute to college, but its not a community college. I live 15 minutes away and see no reason to dish out an extra $10,000 for room and board. I will most likely live on campus junior and senior year, but for now, im commuting. Freshman year wasnt bad at all actually, i stayed in the dorms on the weekends with my friends. And let me tell you, I, personally, would get 0 studying done if I lived in a dorm, way to much partying.
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  12. #12
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    Re: Going Away to College vs Staying Home & Commuting

    I'm starting this year and I'm a commuter as well, just because its cheaper(and I feel that my parents don't trust me but thats another story). Both are good experiences I hear, that help you grow up. I'm not a big party person, so I'd be able to get some work done in a dorm though. Depends on your daughters work ethics and will power to do well.
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  13. #13
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    Re: Going Away to College vs Staying Home & Commuting

    go away!!! the best time of your life lays in wait. SEIZE it.

  14. #14
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    Re: Going Away to College vs Staying Home & Commuting

    For me, staying home and commuting wasn't even a consideration on my part. By the end of high school, I was so ready to just get out (yes, it seems like nobody outside of NYC quite understood my eagerness to get out of NYC), only one of the schools I applied to was even in NYC and most of them were not even in the state. (I was also lucky in that tuition and such were all either covered by school grants or government loans, so I had an option.)

    The good part about this? I got the independence I wanted and so desperately needed. I could roam the streets at 3am and sleep in until whenever and of course, my parents never knew that.

    The bad part? Freshman year, I overslept an 8am midterm and failed a one-credit course - the only time in my life thus far that I've failed a class. I ended up scraping by with a 2.5, and I was a 3.7 student in HS. But then again, I needed that wakeup call to force myself to take some responsibility, which I did by working my butt off the next three years. I didn't graduate with honors, but I did well enough to get myself into a top program for graduate school.
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  15. #15
    FormerlyKnownAsMHHL FormerlyKnownAsMHHL's Avatar
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    Re: Going Away to College vs Staying Home & Commuting

    It's not about the grades, it's about the experience, getting to know people and yourself. Living on your own, dealing with hardships, learning what you like and don't like. I think it's the best thing possible for an 18 year to do. Let her go.

  16. #16

    Re: Going Away to College vs Staying Home & Commuting

    Quote Originally Posted by FormerlyKnownAsMHHL
    It's not about the grades, it's about the experience, getting to know people and yourself. Living on your own, dealing with hardships, learning what you like and don't like. I think it's the best thing possible for an 18 year to do. Let her go.

    Not to sound like a smartass, but if you are going to shell out $20,000 a year or so for school, it better be about the grades. If you want an "experience," go travel around the world.

    I think people can overrate the whole "college experience." A lot of people think that living at home and commuting to college is immature, but is sitting around a small dorm room drinking and slacking off while your parents send you money for things any better?

    I think that if you live at college, get a job, learn how to pay for things, and do well in school, then yes, it is a good experience.

    But if you are going to slack off and party, it's not worth it.

  17. #17
    The ChronicWHATcles of Narnia yeahimweird's Avatar
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    Re: Going Away to College vs Staying Home & Commuting

    I just did the community college thing for two years, and I'm glad I did. My grades in high school, for the most part, weren't too hot. It allowed to raise my grades to respectability. That's just how it's worked out for me. Now, I'm going to be in a four year school and I'm looking forward to it.

    I'd say, let her go away to school. It'll be a good experience.
    “When you pull on that jersey, the name on the front is a hell of a lot more important than the one on the back.” -Miracle

  18. #18
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    Re: Going Away to College vs Staying Home & Commuting

    I'm currently in my junior year. I commuted to a CC my first two years, and now am commuting to ISU (25 minutes) every day as well. Don't get me wrong, now that I'm at a major university I would LOVE to live on campus with a bunch of friends.

    However, I just don't see the point in shelling out all kinds of cash to do this just for the "experience." I usually stay at friends' apartments or dorms, so it's not like I'm at home all the time. my goal is to get a bachelor's degree with ZERO debt, and I don't want to mess that up now just for the "experience."
    Global Warming and climate change hysteria could well represent the historical pinnacle of collective insanity.

  19. #19
    FormerlyKnownAsMHHL FormerlyKnownAsMHHL's Avatar
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    Re: Going Away to College vs Staying Home & Commuting

    Quote Originally Posted by SubwayFanatic
    Not to sound like a smartass, but if you are going to shell out $20,000 a year or so for school, it better be about the grades. If you want an "experience," go travel around the world.

    I think people can overrate the whole "college experience." A lot of people think that living at home and commuting to college is immature, but is sitting around a small dorm room drinking and slacking off while your parents send you money for things any better?

    I think that if you live at college, get a job, learn how to pay for things, and do well in school, then yes, it is a good experience.

    But if you are going to slack off and party, it's not worth it.

    I didn't say slack off and party and fail out. However, the difference between applying for a job with a 2.6 GPA and 3.5 GPA is nonexistant. Do well, learn things, and get the degree. You don't need to Ace classes, noone in the real world cares about GPA.

    I don't think people overrate the college experience, nor do I think commuting to college is immature. I think being out alone and learning about yourself and how to interact with society is much more important than getting an A in calculus.

    Many of us made it through college with jobs and not taking money from our parents, you are making a very hasty generalization.

  20. #20
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    Re: Going Away to College vs Staying Home & Commuting

    Quote Originally Posted by SubwayFanatic
    Not to sound like a smartass, but if you are going to shell out $20,000 a year or so for school, it better be about the grades. If you want an "experience," go travel around the world.

    I think people can overrate the whole "college experience." A lot of people think that living at home and commuting to college is immature, but is sitting around a small dorm room drinking and slacking off while your parents send you money for things any better?
    Agreed! I have learned untold amounts of maturity these past couple years in college by paying for everything! I'm responsible for my car, insurance, and college, and I think that's a good thing.
    Global Warming and climate change hysteria could well represent the historical pinnacle of collective insanity.

  21. #21
    FormerlyKnownAsMHHL FormerlyKnownAsMHHL's Avatar
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    Re: Going Away to College vs Staying Home & Commuting

    Quote Originally Posted by nyyfanatic85
    Agreed! I have learned untold amounts of maturity these past couple years in college by paying for everything! I'm responsible for my car, insurance, and college, and I think that's a good thing.

    Why can't you be just as mature and more so by living on campus? Then you'll also be responsbile for balancing fun with work and grades, cleaning, friendships, laundry, shopping, cooking, etc, etc. There is much "real world" experience that is valuable. I certanly think that anyone that puts down living on campus or going away because it's just "party" is grossly misinformed.

  22. #22

    Re: Going Away to College vs Staying Home & Commuting

    Quote Originally Posted by FormerlyKnownAsMHHL

    Many of us made it through college with jobs and not taking money from our parents, you are making a very hasty generalization.

    My point may have not come across right. Sorry about that.

    I do have a lot of respect for people who live away at school, have jobs, don't take money from their parents for everything, etc. That, I think, IS a good experience.

    However, some people's "college experience" that I knew consisted of staying up until 4 a.m., slacking off in school, having their parents pay for everything, etc. I just don't see how that is a great experience, nor do I think it's worth the extra money to live on campus, if that is the case.

  23. #23
    Bring on October!! nyyfanatic85's Avatar
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    Re: Going Away to College vs Staying Home & Commuting

    Quote Originally Posted by FormerlyKnownAsMHHL
    Why can't you be just as mature and more so by living on campus? Then you'll also be responsbile for balancing fun with work and grades, cleaning, friendships, laundry, shopping, cooking, etc, etc. There is much "real world" experience that is valuable. I certanly think that anyone that puts down living on campus or going away because it's just "party" is grossly misinformed.
    I totally see what you're saying, but right now I am responsible for all that. all i do is live at home. And i'm not knocking going away to college, it's just hard for me to justify the living and miscellaneous expenses that come with staying on campus for an "experience."
    Global Warming and climate change hysteria could well represent the historical pinnacle of collective insanity.

  24. #24

    Re: Going Away to College vs Staying Home & Commuting

    As others have said if someone is going to party they will do so whether or not they stay at home or live on campus. I went away to college and I didn't party. That doesn't mean that I didn't go to parties or didn't have fun but the hi-jinks that a lot of other students were into weren't for me. So living on campus doesn't = partying every night for everyone. My grades weren't great my first year but that was because I had a lousy advisor who recommended classes that I didn't have a good chance of doing well in. Once I started making my own decisions about what classes to take it was smooth sailing from there.

    Personally, as someone who is employed at a university I feel that it is very important for first-year students to be extremely involved on campus as freshmen because it helps them develop friendships and involvements with activities that will carry them through college. Distance can become an issue if your daughter will have to commute a long time to get to school because she will be less inclined to go to activities, including academic ones. I think that's the biggest thing - whether she commutes or lives on campus, ensuring that she gets as much out of her college experience as possible through opportunities both in and out of the classroom.

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  25. #25
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    Re: Going Away to College vs Staying Home & Commuting

    Quote Originally Posted by FormerlyKnownAsMHHL
    I didn't say slack off and party and fail out. However, the difference between applying for a job with a 2.6 GPA and 3.5 GPA is nonexistant. Do well, learn things, and get the degree. You don't need to Ace classes, noone in the real world cares about GPA.

    .
    MHHL, not sure what jobs you're applying for, but most jobs I applied for now have a GPA requirement and the job I have now didn't look at you unless you had at least a 3.5 GPA.

    As far as the college thing goes, I commuted all 4 years. Believe it. The main reason for this is that living on campus cost 10k+ per year, and I was taking out loans to pay for college. In the end, I have a hefty loan bill, around 65k, but it would've easily been over 100k if I had lived there. I also lived about 20 minutes away.

    Now that I look back on it, I almost wish that I could've taken the first year or two at a CC. There's absolutely NO reason to pay the amt of $ I did for requirement classes such as biology, religion, etc if I'm a finance major. If anything, I think it'd be a good idea to take the first year and a half or so at a CC to save $ on the requirement classes. Just make sure that the classes fit into the criteria of the school your child will transfer to in the future.

    HOWEVER.

    Just my opinion, I think that my social life would've been poorer had I gone the CC route for my first 2 years. I think you see so much and experience so much(notice I didn't say grow), in those first 2 years.

    I dind't have a problem with living at home though. If you decide to have her stay at home, I would recommend being a little more lax on curfews and the like, so that she doesn't feel restricted and babied in a time where she's in college and should be granted more freedom.

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