Leaving everything for college?

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Xaldibik
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Leaving everything for college?

Postby Xaldibik » Sun Sep 06, 2009 7:45 pm UTC

So I've been kinda kicking something around in my head for a while, I think ever since the end of 9th grade when I realized I had a 4.0. Now I'm in my senior year... And I still have that 4.0, this time with Magna Cum Laude. I've yet to take my SAT's (I need to, I know), but I've taken practice tests and done really well on them (To the point that if I study hard I believe I will make a 2300+). With my grades, and extra curriculars, I am beginning to think I can make it into MIT. This would be a fairly amazing opportunity, I'd be able to study with the leaders in my fields of interest, I'd be able to get a really good paying job, I'd have these opportunities I'd never thought possible.

But here comes my kicker... I'm afraid of leaving my friends. I'm a pretty socially tight person, I've had the same best friend since 7th grade, I've been in a relationship for a long while (And we've been friends for years before that), and I suppose I'm just afraid of leaving all of them. Moving clear across the country (Literally) to a place where I'd know no one, have no job, and be hitting the ground after all of that with the huge weight on my shoulders, then having to go to one of the hardest colleges in the world. I'm trying to figure out: Is it worth it? I know I sound like an idiot teenager and any rational adult would say, "Your friendships are going to end eventually anyway, this is an opportunity almost no one gets, go for it", but... I suppose I figure some of you have been in the same spot as I am in, and I just want to know, is it worth it?

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Kizyr
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Re: Leaving everything for college?

Postby Kizyr » Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:02 pm UTC

I think I might see the source of your apprehension...
Xaldibik wrote:I'm trying to figure out: Is it worth it? I know I sound like an idiot teenager and any rational adult would say, "Your friendships are going to end eventually anyway, this is an opportunity almost no one gets, go for it", but... I suppose I figure some of you have been in the same spot as I am in, and I just want to know, is it worth it?

Your friendships don't have to end. I'm still best friends with my best friend since 4th grade, despite having moved away from my hometown 8 years ago for college (and staying here after I graduated).

You'll have the opportunity to make new friends, of course, but you'll also have the ability to hold onto the friendships you have. It'll be more difficult, but consider that between internet, cellphones, and going back home every winter and summer break, you'll still be spending time with them. Don't worry about losing those friendships, since with some effort it's not too difficult to maintain them.

A side benefit is that you don't have to associate anymore with the folks you couldn't stand. KF
~Kizyr
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lulzfish
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Re: Leaving everything for college?

Postby lulzfish » Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:19 pm UTC

Your friendships won't end, they'll just become very boring (Since you'll be somewhere else geographically), and your life will be dominated by either new friends or crippling depression, depending on how good you are socially.

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Velict
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Re: Leaving everything for college?

Postby Velict » Sun Sep 06, 2009 11:08 pm UTC

The funny thing is, once you get to MIT, the school is going to be filled with people like you. Everyone will back to square one; many of the students won't even be the same country as their high school friends. It's really not so scary as soon you recognize that there are going to be 500 freshmen at MIT going through the same thing you are. You start meeting people and making friends really fast under these circumstances. Going to college is a once in a lifetime experience, and going to MIT doubly so.

Also, the lack of a job won't be too much of an issue as an MIT student. MIT's careers office is pretty incredible.

angelfire
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Re: Leaving everything for college?

Postby angelfire » Thu Sep 24, 2009 5:15 pm UTC

I suppose distance does help in improving relationship somehow, gives you some space
and I guess its like a true test of your relationship, like if you can survive this together, you could survive everything.

gereffi
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Re: Leaving everything for college?

Postby gereffi » Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:43 am UTC

I'm experiencing trouble with college choices myself. But from what I understand, you should really go with your gut feeling. If you want to stay, then stay. Don't go to a community college, but go to an above average school that is within an hour or two from your home. That way you can always visit your friends, and still learn to be away from them. After four years, I'd recommend going to the best graduate school you can. That's where the real money is going to come from.

Personally, I live in South Jersey and am probably going to end up going to Rutgers. I'll be able to go home on weekends if I want to, but I'll still be far from my current life. Sure, Michigan or Cornell might be better schools (assuming I get in, of course), but I don't think I want to move that far away yet.

And by the way, see what your friends think. Talk to them about the subject. He may know that what's best for you may not be the most fun.

And is Cal Tech closer to you than MIT? I don't know where you live, but if MIT is on the other side of the country, Cal Tech could be a more local alternative.

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Ixtellor
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Re: Leaving everything for college?

Postby Ixtellor » Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:22 pm UTC

1) I did exactly what you are suggesting. I choose a far less prestigious school to stay close to friends. I consider it a huge huge mistake. My wife went to a private school in order to stay close to her recently divorced mother and also considers it a huge blunder.

I was basically too scared to leave my friends, and in retrospect it was really dumb.

Within a year, I had a whole new group of college friends anyway.

Making friends is not a problem at college.

2) I know a sheltered student who is the first in his family to attend college and he started MIT this year.
He has reported back that it is a total blast, and that MIT had lots and lots of fun events for new students to make friends.
He played paintball, went indoor sky-diving, and has attended several parties. He is loving it, and all his fears about being a shy, unconventional student are gone.

Don't miss out on MIT if you have the chance .


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Jorpho
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Re: Leaving everything for college?

Postby Jorpho » Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:34 pm UTC

Who says your friends are going to stick around town forever if you do?
Ixtellor wrote:went indoor sky-diving
Huh?

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zug
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Re: Leaving everything for college?

Postby zug » Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:48 pm UTC

Apply there. If you get in, accept your offer most definitely. If you don't, then you don't have to worry so much.

But anyway, sticking around your hometown for college is a double-edged sword. You will see certain of your friends changing in ways you may not find acceptable. Some of them may grow away from you, especially if they go to far away colleges. You may be bugged by your family to visit unreasonably often. You will lose out on opportunities to meet new people because you've already got an established social circle and you'll be less comfortable going outside it than you would if you were in a completely new environment.

You wouldn't regret an MIT education. If they accept you, I think you'd best jump at the opportunity!
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Re: Leaving everything for college?

Postby stephentyrone » Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:54 pm UTC

I would go so far as to say that it's worthwhile to go far away from home for a few years even if it's to Cambridge Community College and not MIT. It's a great experience to go somewhere far away where you don't know anyone, learn your way around in a new place, learn that you can really get by just fine on your own if you need to. Friends who are really your friends will still be your friends, anyway.

The fact that MIT is awesome would just make it even better. It's a really wonderful place to spend a few years.
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Ixtellor
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Re: Leaving everything for college?

Postby Ixtellor » Mon Sep 28, 2009 1:27 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:Who says your friends are going to stick around town forever if you do?
Ixtellor wrote:went indoor sky-diving
Huh?


The thing with the giant fan in the floor, and you hover over it in a special suit. Not sure what the technical name is.

I stand by the advise to all high school graduates -- leave town and get out on your own, if its financially feasible.
There are soo many invaluble life lessons you learn by going off on your own.
Colleges happen to be incredible places to make friends, so that should be the least of your worries.
There are going to be hundreds if not thousands of people just like you, who are desperate to make friends.

Also, don't skip things that sound pointless, like student orientation. Its a great place to meet new people.


Ixtellor
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Adacore
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Re: Leaving everything for college?

Postby Adacore » Mon Sep 28, 2009 2:17 pm UTC

As others have said, there are two key points here. The first is that you don't have to lose friendships from your school. I know for me personally I largely chose to lose contact with my school friends, at least for a while, when I started uni so I could have a proper fresh start, but equally some of my uni friends remained close to their schoolfriends throughout their time at uni and are still good friends after graduation. The second point is that friendships always change at that age - between the ages of 16-25 everyone goes through big personal changes. Your friends may have commitments of their own, go to colleges, find jobs; they may leave town, find a partner and get married, and/or completely change their outlook on life. None of these things necessarily mean you lose them as friends, but if your current friendships are going to endure in five or ten years time with these things happening then they'll probably survive you going off to MIT too, so long as you put in the effort to keep in touch.


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