College Concerns


HEY. It’s been a while. I miss chatting with everyone here!

As a senior in high school (the last year), I’ll be sending in college applications pretty soon. I’m in a bit of a dilemma though; I don’t know whether or not I’m capable of moving away from my family.

I really want to go up north in California rather than stay down here. I hear that college is the last chance in your life when you’ll be able to live somewhere else, and that sounds exciting to me! I know nothing’s set in stone, but for now, I’m aiming to become a therapist and get a PhD in psychology, and there are great psychology programs up in north Cali. However, my mom thinks that it’s too far away, and while she’s fine with me living away in college dorms, she doesn’t see me as the type of person that can handle being by herself ~7 hours away from her family.

Honestly, this made me want total control over my college decisions, but she still has a point. I don’t know if I’m ready for that. My mom isn’t opposed to me having a gap year to get more comfortable with adult-ing, and I don’t feel like I have to go to a four year college right away, so I know I have my options. But I’d feel left behind and grossly immature compared to everyone else, and I already feel enough of that as is.

(My little brother also said “I don’t want her to go away!” and that made me want to cry :sob: :broken_heart:)

My mom also doesn’t want me going to a California state university. This one frustrates me a lot, because she says that California state colleges don’t hold a lot of name value when it comes to looking for jobs (I’ve heard various things on this subject, though). She either wants me to go to a University of California school (all of those schools are reach schools for me) or a private college. Specifically Christian private colleges, but private colleges overall do seem nice.

TLDR; my main questions are:

  • What are the pros/cons of moving away for college and what would you have to prepare if you were to make the move?

  • How important is name value in colleges when applying for a job?

  • Opinions on gap years & junior colleges

  • Your experience



Pros: Being more independent, doing what you what you want to do (within reason)
Cons: Missing your family, ending up with a suck ass roommate
Both: Controlling how you handle your money and finding a job during college

For me, I had a checklist/guideline to go by in terms of what I needed to take with me. My sister went to college, so my mom kind of used her as an example.

I’ve never really considered college names being vital for a job. I never considered taking a gap year, but some of my friends took a gap year and they’re doing fine as far as I know.

The first two years, I went to a community college. It wasn’t far from where I lived, roughly 20 minutes, drove every day. Completed 64 credit hours and got my Associate in Arts degree. My financial aid took care of the costs.

Now I’m currently a junior, but feeling like a freshman in the current university I’m in now. I’m living in a dorm, taking 9 classes (15 credit hours), and I go home on weekends for my job. All of my financial aid and loans have been used for the semester, and I had to pay a little out of pocket. I currently don’t have a meal plan. For my university, freshmen and sophomores have to have one. Since I’m technically a junior, I don’t need to have one. But that part’s entirely up to you.

I would advise you to save as much money as you can, whether you take a gap year or not. If you’re not careful about how you spend it, it’ll bite you in the ass later. Try community college if you can, or maybe commute (still live at home while going to college) if it’s within reasonable distance.

If you have any further questions, let me know! :heart:


If you go away are you going to live on campus? To me going away and living on campus is kind of like a halfway house. You are out there on your own but you prepay for your room and will probably have a meal plan too so you don’t have all the responsibilities of living on your own. However that will still be a big adjustment from living at home.

Could you go the first year or two closer to home so that you can adjust to college life. Then you can get your general ed courses out of the way and then transfer to the college of your choice.

Eventually you will be moving out on your own and your brother is going to miss you regardless of when that is.

I wish you the best.


Update: My plan is to go to a private school only two hours away from home, so by the time I complete my master’s I’ll be used to living by myself and I can move to a school upward, where the high-ranking psych programs are to get my doctorate. I mean, I know that everyone says that what you’ve planned for in life changes a lot in college but this is what I’m going for for now, and I’m content with it, and so is my mom which is great!

Thank you @gingerlove729 and @ajptx101 for your thoughtful replies! :two_hearts:


That’s great. Sounds like you have a very good plan worked out. Yes your plan may change a lot along the way but it will be your experiences along the way that causes it to change. You’ve made the best decisions you can with what you know now. That is all anyone can do.

Wishing you lots of success and hope that you will continue to let us know how things are going.