When I was looking at colleges, distance from home was one of the biggest factors. I was always a good student, so I wasn’t afraid that I wouldn’t be able to get into a college across the country. But I was afraid that if something happened in my family, I wouldn’t be able to get home quickly. Which is why I chose a school that is only about 20 minutes from my hometown—sweet, little, Horsham, Pa.
My siblings and I are very close, and my family is huge. I am the youngest of six kids: four girls and two boys. We all are pretty outgoing, so when we are together, the house is loud. But it’s okay; I like it that way. I consider my sisters to be my best friends, and I miss them every day.
Recently, one of my friends had some issues getting back home. It made me think about my own family. I thought of my nana, who is not the healthiest person. She is constantly in and out of the hospital. If something happened when I was across the country, I wouldn’t know what to do. I couldn’t imagine traveling so far on my own in a state of utter shock.
Maybe I live a bit in the negative, but I also know that I would be missing out on a lot of positive events in my family. My sister Marissa is planning a wedding for May, and I am the maid of honor. Plus, my sister-in-law is pregnant with my first niece or nephew. It is a very exciting time for my family, and I would not want to miss out on big events like her baby shower (and seeing all the little clothes!). Of course I do think about whether I am missing out on anything from the stereotypical “college life” that I see some of my peers from high school experiencing. But when I truly think about it, I am not. I am still living away from home and able to hang out with my friends. Even if I were to commute, Arcadia does so many activities that I would still be able to be a part of campus life. There are always games out on Haber Green, and I’ve enjoyed attending the Fun until 1 activities on Thursdays.
So while the thought of going to a far-off school might sound exciting and liberating, I do not have any regrets picking a university close to home. Family is a big part of my mental health. Close enough, but far enough, is the best of both worlds.