Getting out of state for college is one of the most important experiences that any student can have. The opportunity to travel and spend four years of one’s life out of the bubble that s/he grew up in is invaluable. Stripping away the safety net in which they have been safely enveloped not only introduces them to independence, but also to a lifestyle where they can’t really rely on anyone except themselves.
Currently, students are flooding out of state as the UC schools become harder to get into and more expensive than they were before due to tuition hikes. With each qualified in-state student that gets turned away to make room for an out-of-state tuition payer, the student population of California begins to look outside the confines of California for their education. For example, according to the Sacramento Bee news, at UC Berkeley, engineering majors from out-of-state and international students have surged 79 percent while enrollment from California natives has decreased by 13 percent. This is a good thing. Californians are looking elsewhere for their learning and this allows them to experience a whole new situation.
It is a well known fact that California is a bastion of liberality. Both of our senators are ardent Democrats, the majority of our congressional representatives are as well, and in the 2012 presidential election, Barack Obama carried the popular vote, beating Mitt Romney by more than 20 percent. However, outside of the borders of California, people are not the same. Not only do people have strongly different views and are typically less “politically correct,” but the demographic makeup of most states is not even close to ours. Beverly Hills has a strong and present Jewish community and Los Angeles is a diverse, mixing-pot of many cultures and races. By leaving this state, people are exposed to a different mindset and a different type of person. These experiences that occur throughout college will benefit these out-of-state students as it will teach them tolerance for people who feel differently than they do. While it might initially be like plunging head first into a pool of less tolerant icy water, over time people will become acclimated to this new atmosphere and will learn to thrive in it. This is something that in-state students will never experience.
While some people believe that staying comfortable and close to your parents is healthy, this is not the case. Sometimes people just need a push from the nest to really find their wings. Yes in-state tuition is typically cheaper than out-of-state, but private schools also tend to offer more money in financial aid and offer financial aid to a higher percentage of students.
When you’re away from home in college, whether you’re one state away or on the east coast, you get to discover what type of environments you like and what people you want to be surrounded with. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to discover things about yourself.