45-60 Minutes: The Perfect Distance between Home and College

It is the question that millions of high school kids ask in their quest for the right college:

Do I stay close to home or do I venture off to the school that is 2+ hours away?

Both sides of the spectrum contain plenty of benefits. Staying close to home can allow for a student to commute and save a boat load of money, all the while having the ability to see and interact with close family and friends on a daily basis. Choosing a college farther away can suggest a bit more independence for the average incoming student, and provides a whole new experience in a totally different location.

So where is the happy medium? How can you pick a college that provides the best from both worlds, and eases your search a bit more!

The answer is 45-60 minutes. A 45-60 minute range from your hometown to your college is the “happy medium,” and perfect distance that enables an incoming college student to gain the experience of living on-campus, yet provides a reasonable time to take a trip home when needed.

Two or more hours of traveling takes days in advance to plan, not to mention emptying up to a full tank of gas. With the constantly rising gas prices and possible conflicting schedules, this often can raise issues for visiting parents and friends when attempting to come see their student at college.

The 45-60 minute range decreases these issues and allows for affordable and quick, sometimes last minute, trips for both college students and their visiting family and friends.

While living at home, or about less than a half hour away from your college can be a financially smart thing to do, problems can also arise here for many students. College is a time to develop independence as an adult. It is the chance for students to endure new and exciting experiences in a completely different environment. In some cases, living at or close to home can hinder these experiences for incoming college students, forming sort of restrictions towards achieving a piece of independence.

Choosing a college 45-60 minutes away will not necessarily give you ultimate independence, but it will give you the option. You will be able to choose the amount of freedom and independence you want. Whether that is driving home every chance you get, or only traveling back if necessary, that is totally up to you. Either way, the option is there as opposed to not being exposed to a different location and/or not being able to come home as much as you would like.

The 45-60 minute distance also extremely helps in the adjustment process into college life. As a college student with first-hand experience of the 45-60 minute range, being able to go home and not go home when I please has profoundly helped in my shift into college life.

I have been able to be exposed to many different types of people and environments, yet have safely maintained standing relationships back home. Knowing that it only takes a short day trip, there and back, is very comforting. The option to spend time with my friends and family, and/or establish my life and my independence at college is mine to choose.

College searches are not only difficult, but extremely stressful; especially when distance from home is one of the main priorities in your search. Consider this 45-60 minute distance. Ask yourself, what other range allows for you to create a sense of independent, college life and at the same time, stay close to home? What distance is the perfect distance between your college location and your hometown?

The answer is 45-60 minutes!

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Jordan Johnson

Jordan Johnson

Jordan Johnson is a junior at North Central College in Naperville, IL pursuing degrees in journalism and interactive media studies. When she is not in the classroom, she balances her time playing for her school’s softball team and working at a local frozen yogurt shop. Jordan enjoys watching movies, thumb wars, and occasional trips into the windy city.
Jordan Johnson

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