i need advice.

As a lot of you may already know, I am planning on going to college next fall but I have recently been hit with a dilemma. 

Whether to commute for my freshman year or go straight down to campus. 

The thing is, since I will just be taking the core classes my freshman year, I could save about 17,000 dollars by commuting to a local school. Then going on campus for the next five years. 

But is it worth it? I mean, I really want to go away to college and live on my own and just be my own person ASAP. But I don't really know if that will be good for me in the long run. 

So that is why I am turning to you. What do you think? I'd love some advice because I know a lot of you know more about this than me. Lol.


  1. Don't rush yourself, girl! I did my first 2 years at a local school and then went onto university and still feel like I got an amazing college experience! AND I'm graduating with less debt then 90% of my fellow students. Coming in as a junior it's not only easier to get into whatever school you want, but you also look better as far as scholarships are concerned (more grown up, more responsible ect). You can still join any clubs and sororities you want as a sophomore or junior!

  2. I agree with Annika - university or college (I'm not too knowledgeable about the US education system) is what you make it! Join loads of clubs, get involved and meet people and you will still get the same experience. In the long run, $17,000 is a lot of money that could be saved! :)

  3. Everyone is different. Sure you'll save money by going local the first year or two, and if saving money is your top concern, then that's definitely the best route. But that doesn't work for everyone. You have to do what you feel is best for you! I'm sure we could all tell you our experiences and how we feel like a certain thing is the "best" or "right" choice. I always make "Pro/Con" list when making big decisions. Maybe that could help you weigh out your options and decide what's best for you? Go with your gut! And if what you choose doesn't work out, just try something different the next year! Live and learn! You'll be fine!

  4. GO AWAY. Really. You'll come back a completely different person. So what if you have loans when it's over? Everyone does. The lessons you learn about other people, the world, and yourself while being away at college are PRICELESS. It's okay if you come back home after college and stay where you are, but at least you can say that you left. Go see the world!

  5. $17,000 is a lot of money. trust me from someone who will be paying back student loans for a long time. stay at home but definitely be at school as much as possible!!!

  6. definitely don't rush it! enjoy your time at home with your family and save some money!


  7. I did my first two years at a local community college and saved myself a bundle!! Definitely recommend going the cheaper route.

  8. I would go away. All those 2 years will be is an extension of high school. You are going to be an adult, and you need to discover who you are independently- so that you can really focus on what YOU want to do with your life!

    I am going away next year too, and I am choosing a school that is about 2 hours and 40- 3hours away so that I can commute home some weekends. I would suggest doing the same. :)

    It is going to be quite the adventure out there on our own! :)


  9. are YOU paying for school? I stayed home, and it is hard at times. you miss your friends and its easy to compare experiences. but you save so much money. and your still getting a great education. it may not be the funnest experience but in my opionion its the most reasonable.

  10. not racking up college debt is definitely a huge benefit in a slow and downtrodden economic climate. that being said, only YOU know what is best for YOU, academically, socially, emotionally. it is always wonderful and good to get advice and insight from those you love, trust, and respect, and who hopefully have your best interests and happiness at heart, but do not neglect your own thoughts and feelings.

    good luck!


  11. In Australia, the vast majority of us don't live on campus. We stick to schools in our cities and commute to class. We live with our parents until we graduate ( or sometimes later. Our schools have limited on campus accomodation, we definitely don't have these mini-city college towns that I see in the US.

    Which is why my perspective may not help you so much, because the college culture here is dramatically different. Even so, I would advise you NOT to live on campus for as long as you can stand it. The financial benefits are amazing and in years to come when you graduate, you'll be happy that your student debt is so much smaller than your classmates.
    You can still grow up and gain responsibility whilst not living on campus, you can still take part in all the social aspects of college life.
    I've never understood this American need to live on campus when it costs SO much money.

  12. If you do commute, when you are looking at classes, make sure that the credits will transfer so when you get to a campus you aren't stuck with all these classes and no credits! YIKES! I have seen people stuck in that awful situation, so that would be my only concern about commuting but as long as you look into it, you will be great!! :)

  13. Ultimately, the decision is up to you. I know the feeling of wanting to get out and live on your own, be independent. But it really isn't all that it's cut out to be. It would be so much less stressful for you in so many different ways to just stay home while you do your first two years. Plus, since it's just your core classes for the first two years, you won't be getting any less of an education by not going to a University or whatever.


  14. I've heard that some commuters have a tough time because they aren't usually as involved on campus. I only live an hour away from home but I have been living on/near to the campus for the past three years because of winter driving and stuff. I actually don't go home that much because I am so busy! Being away really does change you, but if you plan on going home a lot for the first year then I would say save yourself some money. I truly don't get all the people that are paying ridiculous amounts of money to stay in the dorm but then go home every weekend. In the end though, it's all up to you. Best of luck! :)

  15. See, I tried leaving, then I was totally homesick and came right back!
    I wanted to leave so so so bad, and was so ready to leave everything, but it wasn't for me.
    I'm saving a crap ton of money going to community college before an actual university. Once I got over the fact of working my tailend off in high school to get into a good university, then not go, I felt good about saving dattt cash flow. Money is way overwhelming.

    <3 Ashlynn.

  16. thank you guys so much for the help! i am so glad i can get so many different view points. i'll take these all into account. :)

  17. I say commute the first year then for the remainder stay there so you get the experience. You never know, by the time the first year is up you may find someone to get an apartment with. xoxo

  18. The college experience is really important. I'm a freshman this year at a university an hour away from my home. While I do miss it sometimes I'm glad I got out of my hometown to get a different experience. By the way I'm Tonya. It's nice to meet you :)

  19. i'm not sure what state you're going to college in, but you should keep in mind that there are sometimes options to change housing options after the first semester of a school year.

    its usually designed for people that aren't getting along with roommates, but its open to everyone.

    that way you can get the "freshmen experience", but if you find out its not worth the money you can move back home.

    there'll probably be a cancellation fee but it definitely won't be thousands of dollars.

  20. i say live on your own!! that's totally part of the college experience!!!

  21. I'm currently a freshman in college and I faced the EXACT same decision as you. I decided to commute for my first year, mainly because I am saving a boatload of money (not only on room and board, but also on all those little costs that go along with living on your own that you don't think about at first)And while I am saving a lot of money on room and board, I still have to pay for gas and car insurance, so keep that in mind.
    But I will be honest, it hasn't always been easy. I sometimes feel like i am missing out a little bit. But with that being said, I am still involved on campus and have made a lot of great friends, some of which are commuters too.
    My school offers a lot of events for commuters, in an effort to get us more involved. So I would definitely check to see what the school your are looking at offers.
    Also, look into the statistics of how many recent graduates from your school are employed soon after graduation. If you do decide to live on campus, you may have to take out student loans, and you want to have some sort of income after graduation to help pay those loans!
    In the end, do what you think is right for you! I decided to commute for my first year, and then to make another decision when the time comes. I am 100% confident that commuting was the best decision for me. If I make enough money, I can live on campus next year, and I wont have to take out such a large loan, or maybe no loan at all! I can't wait to live on my own either, but part of doing so is being responsible and planning it all out! You can be responsible by living on campus or commuting, but make sure you carefully consider your options. This is just your freshman year! While it is important and very exciting, you still have a lot more of your college experience to look forward to!
    Good luck!!!

  22. I would highly recommend commuting your first couple years. I am getting slapped with my $150,00 college loans soon and totally regret not staying home for that first year or so.

    Good luck!


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