Independence becomes your friend: A new place forces you to get out and learn things yourself. From managing your time and searching for alternative ways to get work done, you’re mostly on your own.
A new place, a fresh start: College away from your hometown means discovering a place very unlike what you’ve known half your life, especially if you are in India. With each new town housing a new language/dialect and its very own unique culture, you get a chance to experience a place outside the television screen.
Managing the pocket becomes an art: Mummy is no longer going to get you things. Living away from home will imply running errands and making purchases. You’ll learn how to give fruit sellers and street vendors a hard time, and experience divine satisfaction when you get a good deal. The more you save, the more your weekend budget increases.
Fear out, experimentation in: This might not hold true for everybody, but a new place fills you up with intrigue. With no ‘driver-uncle’ to chauffer you around, you’ll use the local transport. You’ll try places with your friends that you can’t visit with the old-folks back home. Maybe have a few late nights and hangovers. Why not? It’s all part of growing up.
Living the flexible life: Living in a new temporary place with limited space for personal property will help you live a very simple, adaptable life. Living out of a bag will be the norm, and the word ‘home’ will become very flexible. Home will be where the bag is.
Managing old relationships: There will come a time when you have to move away from home for good. Attending college away from town will prepare you for this since it will teach you how to keep in touch with people who matter, and nurture relationships. For many of you, it might even give a chance to try out long-distance romantic relationships. You will also learn of the people who bother to keep in touch with you, and how much you mean to them.
New bonds with family: Attending college far from home is a very emotional event, since it implies leaving the nest and fending for yourself (in many ways). But this is exactly why you should do it, as it shows you how easy it is to stay connected. You will be taking time out from your schedule to talk to them daily and fill them up with all that’s happening to you. In return, they will tell you about theirs. And every time you come home to visit, you’ll keep your door open and your ears unplugged.
You learn to adapt: You go from liking your chai with only one and half spoons of sugar to loving whatever chai type drink you get. You also learn to stop shouting ‘mummaaaaaa’ when you need coffee while studying late at night to actually getting up and making it yourself.
A chance to make new friends: A city far from home brings with it a chance to meet new people and make new friends and meet more people and make more friends until it feels like home. You open up, learn to trust people quicker than before, and your friends become your family.
You 2.0: This is probably the most important reason why out-of-town college experiences are important. You discover a new version of yourself. At home, your mind and body are used to a few defined chores, tasks and experiences and independent living brings out the hidden in you. You might realise that while your cooking is doomed for life, you might also discover that you are an excellent seamstress and cleaner of utensils. Go you!