From the unbeatable weather year-round to the tremendous diversity of people and culture (and hundreds of other reasons), California is widely recognized as one of the top states in which to live. In fact, the proof is in the numbers. In addition to being the most populous state, California received more US migrants than any other in 2013, making it the most popular. So why should you leave California to pursue your college education?
- Immerse Yourself in Another Culture
There are few experiences more terrifying than leaving the place you called home for the last 18 years and plunging yourself into a new environment. If you are going to college out-of-state, you are leaving behind your family and probably your closest friends. But after the first few weeks of homesickness, you will begin to see the rewards of embracing your new community’s culture. From the introduction to different mannerisms and values to the new perspectives you encounter, you will benefit tremendously from the exposure to your new state’s culture.
There is nothing quite like seeing the leaves turn from green to yellow, to orange, to bright red in just a matter of weeks.
- Experience the Four Seasons
Unless you are sticking to the warmest states, you will experience the changing seasons for the first time. For me, moving to northern Indiana was quite a shock, and during my freshman year temperatures dropped to as low as negative 19 degrees in January! But aside from being stuck indoors for most of the winter, watching the seasons change can be dazzling. There is nothing quite like seeing the leaves turn from green to yellow, to orange, to bright red in just a matter of weeks.
- Increase Your Chances of Finding a Dream Career
Your major of choice and career aspirations will change many times in college, but you should not let geography limit your number of options. There are hundreds of great universities outside California that produce graduates who are leaders in medicine, law, politics, science, social activism, business, finance, art and education. Applying to these out-of-state colleges will increase your chances of graduating with a degree that best fits your interests.
- Diversify Your Profile for Employers
Employers want to hire undergraduates of all backgrounds to diversify their talent pool. Whether you decide to work for a firm in California or not, going to college out-of-state will differentiate your profile from your peers and show your willingness to take a major risk to pursue your goals.
- Trips Back Home
Last but not least, trips back home to California are all the more special. Not only do you get to see your family and friends for the first time in months, but coming home for Thanksgiving and Christmas may be your only chance to get outside before heading back for the winter!
*Photo: University of Notre Dame