Hi! Being from Rochester, originally I just wanted to get out - go explore. I was not really looking at RIT at first because it was so close to home. In fact, RIT is closer to my home than my high school was.... Crazy, right? After doing some research on the different programs I was interested in, I kept seeing RIT. RIT had everything I could ever want! I was very indecisive, torn between engineering and design - which, of course, RIT excels in both.
The only thing that was slightly holding me back from committing to RIT was the fact that it was SO CLOSE TO HOME. Now, 4 years later, I have really come to appreciate how close home is and the convenience that comes with knowing the Rochester area.
Here are my pro's and con's for students who are considering going to a college close to home:
1. You don't need to pack your entire life into a car for move-in day.
It's great to be able to back the basics and have the flexibility to be able to just go home if you forgot something. I try to keep the first-day move-in to a minimum, and actually plan on going home to get more as I need things - like getting winter clothes.
2. Family is close by. I am very close to my family.
It can be so nice to have a place to go to if you just want to get off campus. I love catching up with my mom. If I ever have friends drama, I can count on her to listen (not know any of the people I'm talking about) and it will never come back to haunt me (hopefully). Occasionally, I still get homesick, even when I'm so close to home. I really appreciate having them nearby - even though my brother (who goes to school out-of-state) visits home more than me some years.
3. I am familiar with the area.
Hanging with friends and feel like going on an adventure? I have a place for that! Want to enjoy the beautiful outdoors? Let me tell you about the cool parks and niches in Rochester are we should totally check out. I love bringing college friends to events, festivals or cool places in the Rochester area. My hometown has a drive-in movie theater, which is something many of my college friends have never experienced before they met me.
4. I'm use to the weather.
Just kidding, I just knew what to expect with the weather and have established a pretty solid wardrobe of clothes to match the weather. I still layer up and miss the summer when it starts to get chilly. One thing I didn't realize is that I would be walking to get to class more - so that means being outside more. I do love winter activities, though, such as ice skating, snowball fights, snowmen, hot chocolate, hoodies...
5. All of your specialists are here - doctors, dentists, hair stylists, etc.
Sophomore year I accidentally chipped my tooth on pizza (long story). The next day I was in my own dentist's office getting it taken care of. I sometimes forget just how convenient it is to have all my doctors here. It can really come in handy! I have used the health center on campus as well, but for some special circumstances (like chipping teeth), it's so nice to go to your own specialist. Some people are like this with hair cuts even!
6. I can still have my own life and be independent.
People would joke that my parents could drop in at anytime. I must admit, the thought did cross my mind. I was worried my parents may still have a bit more of a say in my day-to-day activities and that I wouldn't be able to experience living on my own. Luckily, I can say (after 4 years) my parents have been very good about keeping their distance. They never make plans for me, and respect my schedule. I keep myself busy on campus between school, work, clubs/organizations, friends, and random other things. I am often so busy, that I do not even make it home to visit as often as one might think.
1. The fear of not being able to make it outside of [insert name of your hometown].
This is the biggest con. I grew up in Rochester, went to school in Rochester, and even interns/co-oped in Rochester. What if I move somewhere and can't make it? I have one more year in New Media Design, so this summer I plan on looking for a co-op/internship outside of Rochester. This will be my short-term experiment of trying life in a different place. I want to experience a new setting. Am I a city person? Or more small town? I could definitely find a full-time position in Rochester, but if I stay I feel like I will always wonder what if.
2. Parents are close by.
Although I did mention this as a Pro earlier, some people may still see this as a con. Because I am close to home, there will be some occasions that you will feel obligated to go home - regardless of your schedule. This really has not been too much of a concern for me, however.
3. You know the area pretty well.
Maybe you want to explore more and are disenchanted with your local area - been there, done that. I, however, have been surprised at the number of places I have never gone to - or even heard of - that some of my friends (not even from Rochester) have shown me. I have learned so much more about Rochester and cool places I did not even know existed since coming to RIT.
All in all, I found the pros to outweigh the cons. RIT has been one of the best decisions I have made. I hope this helps some of you who are trying decide between staying close to home or going farther away.