Going away for college

posted 2 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 16
807 posts
Busy bee

I was local for undergrad but moved halfway across the country for grad school. I did move back to my home state after grad school for my SO, but if I were single I likely would have stayed in my grad school state due to lower COL and better career connections that I had made in grad school. I am not a big family person and didn’t have remaining friends from my home state. 

Post # 17
285 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

 I don’t think where you go to college means you will more likely live there afterward. I can see why parents would think that… but it really depends on the goals of the person, job prospects, who they meet, etc.

I went to a local instate school , but then moved to a different state immedately after graduation and have never lived in the same state as my parents again.

Post # 18
2416 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: City, State

I grew up in a small town, went to college four states away, went to law school in state, but still a few hour drive to home, moved back to my home town for five years, and am now moving back closer to where I was in law school. 

For me, the largest determining factor was a job opportunity that really only comes around in larger metropolitan areas. 

Post # 19
7529 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

I think it rings true to some extent, simply because those who are open-minded and adventurous to move that far away from college are more likely to also be ok with starting their professional career “away from home”. 

In my area *most* kids go to college within a 2-6 hour drive….but the vast majority seem to pick a couple of college that are 2-3 hours away. Easy enough they can pop home on a weekend. Likewise many of those same kids move back after graduation, because while where we live is a small town, it’s a resort area and a great place to live and raise a family. Those who opt not to move back generally do tend to be be within 3-6 hours driving. Sure there are plenty of kids who went far away or have moved far away but I’d say more stuck closer to home.

I origionally picked a college 3.5 hrs from home. I lasted a year before I transferred to a college 12.5 hrs away from home. Partly because I hated the origional school I picked, and partly because DH (then BF) was transferring to a school in that area and I wanted to go as well. I’ve always been pretty independant and adventurous, love travel and new experiences. I also picked a college where only ONE other person from my high school went while most of my friends went to college with TONS of our other friends. Even after living that far away for a few years DH and I still opted to move “home” to start our lives post-college.

Despite being very social and popular my sister is a total homebody. SHe was never the kid that slep over at friends, she enjoys being with her family, and doesn’t like bing away from hom. She did her first year at community college because she was not ready to leave home. When she finally did she picked a school 2.5 hours away where literally half our high school goes. Even still she made it one year, and hated every.single.second. After that year she moved back home and is finishing her degree online. 

Post # 20
1038 posts
Bumble bee

Maybe my high school friends were the outliers in this thread, but every single one who stayed in state for college still lives in TX and ever single one who went out of state for college did not ever come back. We’re 40, FWIW.  Most of us moved out of state for a bit after college but only the ones who went to college here actually settled down here. 


Harvard friend moved to the Bay Area.

NYU and Duke friend both live in NYC. 

Oxford friend lives in Boston. 

Northwestern friend lives in Portland. 

Clemson friend lives in DC.


Kind of weird that I never realized this either…

Post # 21
718 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

I’m from a smaller town but I moved to a big city for college and never looked back. I think a lot of it is I’m from a conservative, southern Florida city (which my family is not nor has ever identified that way but they like the beach 🤷🏻‍♀️) and I needed a place that identified with my values more. 

Post # 22
163 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I grew up on the west coast of Canada. Through uni I lived in Toronto. (1 year), Tokyo (just over 2), and Vancouver (3ish). I wasn’t the most efficient degree-finisher!

I’m back in Victoria now, partly b/c I met my husband here and his job is here, and partly because we live with my elderley grandfather. Once we aren’t doing that any more, either b/c my mom moves back here or we aren’t able to care for him, we are planning to spend 50% of our time in Europe. That doesn’t have anything to do with where I went to school, except I suppose I discovered that I love living in a different country during that time of my life.

Post # 23
287 posts
Helper bee

Depends where you are from and where you are going. From personal experience, if you’re leaving a smallish city to go to school in a big city, it’s not just the chance of staying there that’s a factor – it’s who you’ll meet there. Top schools and big cities attract people from all over the world. So now I’m getting married and moving to another continent 🤷 

Post # 24
2937 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Many of my friends and acquaintances went to college far away from our home city, a few even at international universities. While some of us, myself included, have made our lives far from home, most actually ended up back there to stay. I think the biggest factor is that my home city is huge and has many job options and did not suffer as much from the recession either as other places. 

I agree with PPs who pointed out that available jobs in your field, people you meet along the way, plus variables unique to each person all come together to decide post-college living. 

Post # 25
2800 posts
Sugar bee

There’s a lot of self-selection to factor in as well. Young adults you are more willing to move far from home for school 

– may dislike where they’re from and want to get away, or want to move away from their families 

– may be more adventurous types who like exploring new places, and therefore are less likely to move back to their hometowns

– may be moving away because there are more opportunities elsewhere.

– may not fit into any of these categories; maybe an out of state school gave them the best scholarship options or was ranked considerably better than other options, or maybe they want to move away for a few years precisely because they want to settle in their hometowns and like the idea of experiencing something else for a few years 

I’d guess that students who go away for college are less likely to come back to their hometowns than students who stay very local, but largely for reasons that don’t have to do with the college experience itself. 

I’d also wager that there is an economic factor here. Out of state schools tend to be more expensive on average, plus there are moving costs to consider and the fact that students who choose to go to school locally may be doing so to save money by living with family. Students with fewer resources tend to be more likely to attend local schools (unless they’re exceptional students who get big scholarhsips elsewhere). Poorer students will typically be less likely to relcoate after school, too, which may skew the data (if there is any). 

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