The Townie’s Lament: To Move Or Not To Move

A few of you may be scratching your head at the use of the term “townie.” Plainly speaking, a townie is a university student who lives in the town in which the institution is based. If you are such a prospective student, you probably are juggling the idea of staying in your hometown for college as we speak. This decision is not an easy one, as it comes with a variety of pros and con’s, much like the idea of attending an out-of-state university.

Remaining in town may be the perfect solution to your future plan, or the thought might send you running with your suitcases speedily packed. Consider these factors while contemplating your current or future home.

The Perks of Being a Townie: 

  • No Housing Fees and Problems: You will not have to pay for housing as you can simply commute to campus everyday. There will be no shelling out quarters every week for laundry. Your bed will be of average size, and you can easily avoid the usual mandatory move-in shopping. It will be just like attending high school but with flexible, adjustable hours. Plus, no one is saying you don’t have to shack up in the dorms, but it is much easier not to do so.
  • Home Is Where the Heart Is: Homesickness will be a thing of the past, as your residence will be right around the corner. The move-in jitters will be unnecessary and non-existent. You will feel more at ease and transition smoothly into college through a comfortably familiar environment. After all, nothing has changed except the level of your education and perhaps a few new friends. You can never go wrong sticking to your roots.
  • Networking becomes much easier: Building a college career in your hometown can lead to a huge range of possibilities for your future endeavors. Originating from the town you are going to college in gives you a leg up when it comes to knowing your faculty and potential business partners, as you have presumably grown up in the area. This also makes staying near school in the summer for a job or internship even simpler and more accessible. Usually, college means having to start all over again in terms of making a name for yourself, but if you decide to stay in town, you will be able to hit the ground running.

The Downside of Being a Townie:

  • Missing out on the “college” experience: Although most of your parents would be thrilled (I know mine would) to surpass the dollars put into university housing, this is one of the key components of your freshmen year. Some of your best friends for the rest of your college career will be made in those tender beginning weeks at the start of the year. Honestly, it can be pretty hard to make friends when you do not live on campus. At times, going through such a change in living conditions can be good for you and introduce you to the “real world,” which does not always include the safety of your childhood bedroom.
  • Welcome to Grade 13: Another frequent shortcoming to staying in your hometown for school is the lack of change you usually experience from entering college. Instead of going to a new town, to make new friends and have new experiences, you have the same adventures with your old chums. Granted, you can still have an amazing time commuting a few miles from your house, but it lacks the excitement associated with taking the next step in your education. Honestly, most students describe it as feeling like you never left high school, hence the term grade 13. Depending on your comfort level, this may be just the way you want it. However, if you yearn for more than “this provincial life” as Belle from Beauty & The Beast puts it, then you’re better off going to school out-of-town.
  • It can be difficult to branch out: True, networking is much easier when you already have a feel for your environment, but it can also be severely limiting. You may be interested in living in the city with a nice marketing job later in life, but this can be difficult to achieve if you hardly leave your town’s boundary lines. Of course, you may meet friends from other cities and states and visit them, but this does not compare to actually living in a completely different area than you are used to. Sometimes you need a change of pace if you want to evolve and grow as a person.

I could go on all nights comparing the advantages and disadvantages to staying in town for school, but the decision truly comes down to you: the student. Everyone learns and grows at their own unique rate. Some people need the comfort of home in order to flourish. Others go to seek far-off and mysterious places. Whatever your adventurous poison may be, the only way to figure it out is through your own trial and error. So, take these ideas in mind and good luck in selecting your college.

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Tori Stukins

Tori Stukins

Tori Stukins is a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign pursuing a degree in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Theatre. On campus, Tori can often be found working on various projects for Her Campus Illinois, acting in a production or reading. While at home, she enjoys working at her family’s restaurant or exploring with her friends.