Opinion: You Don’t Have To Move Away For College

Eric Lee, Editor-In-Chief

Reading Time: 2 minutes

With graduation less than two months away and college decisions approaching fast, the entire senior class, myself included, is totally preoccupied with one question: what comes next?

For many, the answer is college. Whether it be a community college or a four-year university, public or private, an Ivy League or a state institution, a large chunk of these prospective graduates are planning on pursuing higher education hundreds, if not thousands of miles away from their families.

Now I don’t blame people for wanting to leave Los Angeles. Having been born and raised here, I’ve been surrounded by the slow decay of our city. Regretfully, I endorse leaving for a more safe and prosperous and less crowded place to live; it’s a smart move.

However, it is critical to maintain close relationships with the people you love, for your own sake, wherever future prospects take you.

People often attend college far away for the wrong reasons, looking for enjoyment in foreign people and places. They leave the responsibilities and authority figures that once dominated their childhood to encounter new, exciting, and often harmful people, substances, and experiences; they seek gratification through four years of hedonistic living. 

People relieve themselves of the soul-crushing boredom accumulated from the monotony of 13 years in the public education system by means of their own self-destruction. 

What they fail to realize is this: happiness and peace do not come from indulgence, physical pleasure, or superficial enjoyment. It isn’t what the world offers, but instead what you return home to, what lies in your soul, where your fulfillment lies. 

Leaving behind one’s family is like leaving behind your legs, because, as your legs support your body, your family supports your heart and soul. 

Attending college far away certainly has a few benefits. Many enjoy being independent, and cherish new relationships made, opportunities granted, and knowledge learned while studying abroad.

But by leaving behind the important things and people in life, one cripples themself, obliterating their ability to remain strong in the face of challenge, remain optimistic in the face of adversity and despair, and remain whole in a broken world. Thus, many find themselves unfulfilled when their time in college is complete. They struggle to return to the meaning which they left behind years ago.

Now, I’m all for having fun. I don’t mean to discredit moving away for the appeal of better opportunities, the benefits of which could be wonderful. But these things are important to remember to obtain lasting peace and live a meaningful life.

So stay close to family; they need you as much as you’ve needed them throughout your life. And if your education takes you far away from home, keep in touch with your family, don’t abandon morality, and never forget your roots. They comprise the very essence of your being; without them, you are crippled.