Growing up in Stephenville my entire life, kinda made me want to leave as soon as I graduated high school. Which I did. I dreamed about Texas State all four years and was a bobcat my first semester of freshman year (check out our Barefoot right off the square). I hated it for whatever reasons and transferred back home to Tarleton State as soon as possible. The point is, I know what I’m talking about. I’ve attended a school three hours away, and for whatever reason voluntarily came back to my hometown (go ahead and call me crazy). So here is my list of pros and cons of going to college five minutes away from your parents.
At Tarleton, students are required to live in student housing for two freaking years, which is basically unreal but whatever no one asked me. Other schools, require that you live on campus for at least one year. I understand why they do this, it helps the transition for the student and blah blah blah, BUT if you’re parents live within a certain distance of the school, you don’t have to live on campus. You can either live with them (if you’re smart unlike me) or spend all your money on a house. While sometimes I wish I lived with my parents because it would save me hundreds of dollars a month, I like my freedom ya know? My parents are great, not strict at all and would be cool roommates, but they live in BFE and I’m not about that life anymore. So my advice, if you’re worried about money, live with the rents. If you’re decent on money and can manage, totally get an apartment or something close to campus.
My biggest worry was that coming back to Tarleton, I wasn’t challenging myself, therefore not growing as a person. Even a year in, I still question if I’m actually growing or just staying the same. But, when I really think about it, I’ve come so so so far since my first semester here. The key is, you have to really push yourself and make yourself get involved. It’s so easy to just hang out with your high school friends and never meet anyone else. I live with two people who I grew up with, but we were never super close, and now I can’t imagine them not being in my life. Joining organizations is a sure fire way to meet other people that you’ll get along with, that’s kinda the point of it. So if you decide to stay comfortable and just surround yourself with your old high school crew, cool, good luck man. But, please challenge yourself and meet others, I promise you will eventually make friends and you’ll grow.
I’m a firm believer that it’s not what you know, but who you know. Now, don’t get me wrong knowing your material and making good grades is an absolute must, but you’re more likely to snag your graduate job because you know someone in the business. Having already lived here for eighteen years, I know most the town. If I need anything, I know someone who would help me. I’m currently writing this and working my dream college job because I knew a person, that knew a person (I’m also qualified). My parent’s friends have seen me eating dinner at Montana’s and grabbed my check for me (thanks x10000000). Hopefully, I’ll network even more and meet people that want to give me a job one day in like New York. For now, I’m just chilling knowing that I got people supporting me all over this town.
To be honest, I was stoked about TXST because they have any kind of food you could possibly want. Stephenville on the other hand, doesn’t even have sushi… very depressing. Going to college in your hometown, means you’re stuck with the same food you’ve always had. Maybe this doesn’t matter to you, but it does to me and I’m very upset about it.
Pro: High School Friends
Okay, this may be my favorite pro. All my best friends went away to school (Texas Tech, UT, A&AM, Texas State). So, whenever I get bored of being home, I can just go stay with them! This has been great, I get to meet all their friends, live that kind of college life for a few days, and see them all at the same time. Also, almost even better, when they come home, I’m always here. Over Christmas break it was basically a high school reunion and it was sooo much fun. Encourage your friends to go live the D1 life, and then join whenever you can. Side note; you need to learn to have fun at your college though, if you can’t spend a weekend here, you’re not doing it right.
Con: “Oh, you stayed home for college”
Um yeahhh, and??? Look people are going to judge you and make fun of you, but you just gotta own your decision. Coming to Tarleton is the best decision I’ve ever made (other than naming my cat Fancy). I admit, at first I wasn’t so sure of that, but now I can’t imagine going to school anywhere else. I have made friends that truly love me and would always be there for me (Danielle) and I have made so much progress in my academic career. I am becoming the person that I always wanted to be, and owe that to Tarleton. I’m sure I would be fine if I was still at Texas State, but I would’ve grown into a different person. I love THIS version of myself.
I guess the point of all this, is going to your hometown college isn’t a bad thing. It can be, but only if you make it. But, that goes for anywhere. I made Texas State bad for myself and never truly gave it a chance. But no ragrats. I am head over heels in love with Tarleton (college is different than your hometown, like basically an entirely different community). If you want to stay home, do it! If you want to move states, do it! College is defined by how much you get involved, the people you meet, and the fun you make. (:
Last thing, I bust from the seams with Stephenville pride. I love this town more than you could ever know. I’ll eventually leave because that’s what I want, but I love it here. Also, go jackets!!