I’d dreamed about college since I can remember. In middle school I made lists of schools I could see myself going to and spent hours on college websites scrolling through major choices. I remember my first college tour like it was yesterday.
The schools I applied to were wildly different. Big schools, small schools, private, public, liberal arts and even some research universities. But almost all of them had one thing in common - they were far from home.
In the years I spent dreaming about college, I always pictured myself in a new town or city, somewhere entirely my own. I imagined getting off the plane for winter break and being welcomed back by my entire family with questions about my new life. My mom said going to school in a different city was one of the best decisions she ever made and I wanted that same difficult, yet magical, experience.
And then I decided to go to school 15 minutes from my house.
It was hard not to feel like I was taking the easy way out. Every time I meet someone new and tell them I’m from Chapel Hill, I get one of two questions: what’s it like attending school so close to home and do I live at home during the year. I used to feel the need to defend my decision, even though choosing to go to an amazing school that has the perfect program for me should be a no-brainer.