Going Away to College

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Ms. I, May 10, 2010.

  1. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    The Sadness of an Open Door thread got me thinking...

    Not to stir up anything here...I'm just curious. :) Why do so many parents feel the need to quite often send their kids AWAY to college? I went to a university that's local enough where I could still live at home.

    I mean is it more of a prestige thing so people can tell their friends & associates, "Yes, my son/daughter is away at ___" OR do parents just want their kids to be completely independent, "sew their wild oats", maybe get in a little trouble to learn their lesson, & fend for themselves, otherwise, you think they'll NEVER learn? Because I certainly don't think one needs to actually get in some trouble before they finally learn their lesson. Uh, how about already being smart enough to know not to get in any trouble in the 1st place? I also wasn't immature at all where my parents felt I needed to "grow up".

    My parents believe a person can learn just as much living close to home as they can away from home. In fact, kids may tend (notice I said MAY), to get into more trouble since they know they're far away & their parents may never find out (ie. experimenting w/ various situations). And it's not that my parents can't or never trusted me to go away. I never gave my parents a bit of trouble in my life.

    I mean when I get a good paying job, I'll know how to pay my rent/mortgage, etc. like everyone else. Hey, I have bills NOW that I stay on top of.

    I'm just trying to understand the whole going away to college concept, that's all.
     
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  3. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Well, I went away to college because I live in the central valley of CA and wanted to, for at least a couple of years, live in a beautiful town by the ocean. I went to Cal Poly and loved it. I loved living on my own and my relationship with my mom improved when I moved away, too. :)
     
  4. Rebecca1122

    Rebecca1122 Comrade

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    My mom didn't send me away to college...I left! She wanted me to go where ever was going to be best for me. If that was 10 minutes from home, great. If that was a plane ride from home, that was fine too. It was about choosing the school that fit my needs and wants in a college, not the distance...for her anyways.
    That being said, I wanted to go away to school. I only looked at schools that were over an hour away (which was basically all but one choice anyways). I wanted the 'college experience', to live in the dorms, and be independent. I was so excited! But I still wanted to be close enough to home to visit regularly. I ended up at a school two hours from home. My sister is now in college in another state. It was about what would work best for us.
    I think going away to college was a good choice for me. I learned to take care of things on my own, and I am much different now than I was when I lived at home. I don't think I would have gotten as much independence/self-reliance if I stayed home. My roommate stayed home a year and then moved away to school. It depends on the person.
    As far as getting into trouble...eh, for me it was never an issue. My sister was/is the rebel. But since we were brought up well (I think) it was never a concern about going down the wrong path. But that's the thing, at 18 technically you are an adult. Your parents don't have to know about the every thing that you do, and you are allowed to have a life of your own and make your own choices and rules for yourself. Hopefully, they would be good ones.
    In short...I love college and I am glad I went away : )
     
  5. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    My parents wanted me to go far away because that is what they did. They loved it and wanted me to have the same experience. I went too faraway and wasn't happy. Now, I'm at a different school that is closer to home. I can't live at home and its far enough that I feel like I have my own life. But if I need to come home then I can.
     
  6. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    That's great Peachy! My mom & I are already really close. I consider her my best friend. But I realize w/ some people, it takes distance to get along better.
     
  7. deedee

    deedee Connoisseur

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    I wanted to leave because I think that by going away to school helps a person grow up and to start being independent.

    I loved my college experience and wouldnt trade it for the world. I had a few friends that didnt go away to college and I know it was hard on them becuase their lives really didnt change and everyone around them was moving on. They did fine and graduated but they all said they wished they would have tried living away, even for a year.

    You also learn alot about yourself and how you deal with other people and issues. I learned the types of people I could live with and the ones I wont inorder to save the friendships :). I met my best friend in college! I will have many friends and even more memories to last a lifetime.
     
  8. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    My daughters both live away from home but neither go to a college that is more than 30 minutes away. I am an only child and went to college less than 30 minutes away but I lived on campus also. It is part of the college experience. My oldest daughter stays at her apartment 3-4 nights per week and stays at home the other nights. My other daughter only comes home on weekends. It has helped them grow up and be independent but we are still around to help them if they need it. My husband and I have always felt that we needed to raise our children to be somewhat independent. I love them more than anything but I do not want them living with me forever.
     
  9. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Besides all that, all schools are not created equal. The perfect school for me may be very different than the perfect school for somebody else. It just depends on what we want out of a school. Does it offer right program? A certain professor? A particular size? Sports or no sports? Each school is unique. Why would I want to limit my children's choices? That "perfect" school might be down the street, or it might be 3000 miles away. Wherever it is, that's where they're going.
     
  10. MissCeliaB

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    You must think my parents are terrible! They sent me to boarding school when I was 14! Granted, the school was an hour from our house, but still... It was the best education opportunity for me. I could not have gotten the same education living at home for the rest of high school.

    When it was time to choose a college, I chose the best college for my major, and that ended up being on the other side of the country. Because of the opportunities from my boarding school, I got some pretty good scholarship offers at some really good schools for my major.

    When I changed majors, and as a result of the extra years ran out of scholarship money, I moved home with my mom and was able to live there for three years while I went to college full-time, worked full-time, and saved money like crazy! My mom and I get along the same no matter where we live. We are equally as close, and drive each other the same amount of crazy.

    I would likely encourage my children to go away for college because the colleges here are not really that great for many programs. I would let them go wherever they wanted that we could afford.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    May 11, 2010

    "Originally Posted by Zeus22
    Maybe most kids actually WANT to leave the nest and be independent. I know all 6 of us did.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Me
    No wonder, it's probably so darned crowded in the house, no one could have a peaceful moment. I'd probably want to get the hell out too if I were you! "


    Ouch. I'm one of five, and I can assure you that none of us ever felt the need to "get the hell out." Growing up with my siblings was one of the greatest experiences of my life,and as an adult I'm still grateful every day that these wonderful people are in my life.

    As it turns out, I stayed home as did my siblings. I got my math degree at the local community college while keeping my job (and the social life it provided) at a local restaurant. (I then went to a local university for my BA.) So we had a house in the Hamptons and a ski house at Hunter Mountain, and hung out together from high school on. I still keep in touch, and have tentative plans for dinner with one of my old waitressing friends as soon as we can arrange our school schedules.

    The speech I'm giving to all my SAT classes this week, now that the exam is over, is this: You need to consider a wide variety of factors. You need to look at the economic situation in your family. With the current economy I can guarantee that either you or someone you know has a parent unemployed. So going away may not be a possibility for you right now. Our local community college has an incredible reputation, as do the 8 or 10 colleges and universities within a half hour commute.

    If you do choose to go away, please take a look at the state univeristies. SUNY has an amazing group of schools, some amazingly competitive.

    A lot depends on your major, so you need to talk to someone in your profession. Some majors pretty much require a big name school, others do not.

    My school is large (2550 kids) and 45 minutes from NYC. Our kids know and appreciate access to a large city. So the size setting for their college should also be a big factor. Some may place a priority on continuing their education in a Catholic setting; others may not find that to be as much a priority.

    The speech goes on and on, but you get my drift.

    It's seldom about prestige. It's about the kid, and what his and his family's priorities are.
     
  12. newbie1234

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    I think often it's the child who wants to move away for college, not the parents who are sending the child away. My parents would have loved for me to have stayed close, but I wanted more independence. Also, the school I liked best wasn't in my hometown.

    It's just a matter of different strokes for different folks.
     
  13. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I have a co-worker who had two daughters. The first was encouraged to go to school several hours away and did. The second daughter wanted to go to Udel, which was about 5 minutes from their house. The parents said fine, but you turn in your key, you live on campus, and you let us know when you are coming for a visit.

    At first I thought this was really mean, but I kind of admire it. I sort of wish my parents had been like this. I went to college about 90 minutes away from my parents and I thought it was an eternity away, because I never went anywhere. I was a huge homebody and I was never encouraged to go anywhere by myself. I was terribly homesick for the first year. I didn't study abroad because I didn't want to be that far away. Even deciding to live there after graduation, and now moving ANOTHER 90 minutes away to PA all makes me feel pretty guilty.

    I don't know if I will shove my kids out the door the minute they graduate, but I hope I can encourage my kids to get out of the house more and see the world.
     
  14. ku_alum

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    My parents didn't send me away, I chose to go away.

    Ms I, like you, I'm an only child and am very close to my parents, particularly my mom. There was nothing bad about my homelife that made me want to leave, but I wanted to try life on my own.

    I wanted to be on my own. I lived in the crappy dorm, I lived in a luxury apartment, I had crappy roommates, I had great roommates ... college and graduate school was a GREAT experience. I earned 3 degrees, made lifelong friends, and had opportunities that I NEVER would have had if I had stayed at home. And, I didn't get in trouble, didn't experiment with anything (except the rats in my behavioral science classes).

    I also wanted to pursue an advanced degree in behavioral science, that could only happen away from home.

    In no way was I "sent away" to college.
     
  15. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    My son chose to go to the university he is attending (about an hour and a half away) because their degree program in his chosen field matched his interest and it has an excellent reputation. There are 2 universities within driving distance, but neither offer his program. Moving away from home has been very good for him; he has grown up and matured in many ways. He's close enough to come home for the night if he wants to, but far enough that he's independent.

    We'll be starting to look at post-secondary options for Lauren within the next year or so. I sense that she will end up much further away as an athletic scholarship is likely (if we can just get her back healed!). Her choice will be complex--combination of academic program and athletic opportunites on both sides of the border.

    With either child, it's not about sending them away, it's about providing them with the opportunities to grow and pursue their dreams.
     
  16. AMK

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    My mom said where ever I went to college - even 5 minutes away I had to live on campus. She wanted me to become more independent. I went to school in RI, 4 hrs away. It was rough at first but then I loved it. I did move home and lived with my mom till a year and half ago.
     
  17. bros

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    Parents don't tend to kick their children out, the children want to experience being away. Most people who graduated HS with me moved back after their first semester was over because they were too homesick.

    Also - My mom was one of six, only three of them were able to go to college because they didn't have enough money to send my mom, one of her brothers, and one of her sisters to college.
     
  18. dizzykates

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    I tooks two years at a community college to save money and then I left. I wanted to move out and I knew the only way I could make that happen with my mother's blessing while I was in college was to go just far enough away that I couldn't live at home. For me, that was three hours. I would have loved to go to school in the city here, but my mother would have insisted I live at home. Yes, I could have gone against those wishes, but sometimes it's just not worth the fight. Instead I moved to a great little inner city neighborhood for six months after college.

    I chose to leave, as did the rest of my friends, we went to the schools we thought would provide us with the best opportunities.
     
  19. maya5250

    maya5250 Comrade

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    :yeahthat:

    I moved on my own accord to a different city for my bachelors due to the program (I was 30 min away). I was the first in my family to go to college. Then, I moved 8 hours away for grad school to a different state because partly for the program of the college and partly for seeing if I could survive in another state by myself. I knew that in the future that I would have had to move around for my career in animal science and wanted to be prepared.
     
  20. midwestteacher

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    The nearest four year college is over an hour from here and that would be a tough commute for a first year college student. So if you are going to college around here, you will be going away to college.
     
  21. TiffanyL

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    I am in the midst of making this decision right now with our just-turned 18 year old daughter.

    I did not have the option of going to college right out of high school. I moved out at 17 and had to support myself on my own. I worked my tail off for an entire decade, finally gaining my degree at the age of 28.

    With my kids, I see how many options there are for getting a college degree. It does not have to cost an arm and a leg.

    Unfortunately, where I live, children do think it represents prestige. I only know this because my daughter is an over-achiever, involved in every possible committee, and was horrified when we suggested going to the local community college. Horrified that it would somehow change her reputation (kids can be socially immature, obviously).

    My husband and I had many talks with her about how far money will go (not very far!!) and how to think smart. Finally, we compromised and she will attend the state college thirty minutes away but will live at home. Also, she must have a part time job, in addition, to help with gas, car insurance, etc., or she will stop and attend the community college.

    Whew! So many decisions when it comes to raising kids!
     
  22. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Tiffany, one thing to point out to your daughter, if you're still debating, is that research shows that students who start out at a good two year program then transfer, actually tend to have higher graduation rates and higher GPA's than students who start out at 4-year programs. I don'thave time right now, but I'll remind me later tonight and I'll see if I can find those articles.
     
  23. TeacherShelly

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    I see a lot of unfounded assumptions within your question and further posts...
    - college freshman would rather live at home if their parents didn't reject them
    - local colleges are just fine for all majors
    - living at home as a student is superior to dorm living
    - living with your parents as an adult means you are treasured; living on your own means you didn't have the choice to stay around the house being treasured well into your adult years
    - parents who value independence don't like being around their children, don't like them very much, and would hold onto them if they did
    - freshman who go away to college are running away from something at home
    - large families are crowded and hellish

    I know you said, "No offense," and "that's great!" every time someone disagreed. I'm not looking for a "great!" but rather a reply... do you really believe all that? For everyone, or just for yourself?
     
  24. MissSkippyjonJones

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    My parents wanted me to go where I wanted to go. If that meant leaving the state, then that was okay. If it meant living at home and driving everyday, that was okay too.

    I looked at schools near home and schools in LA and San Diego. I decided to go to and live at Azusa Pacific which was close enough to come home whenever I wanted, but still far enough that I could get out on my own for a little while.

    As far as the only child defense. I'm an only child and my parents are two of my best friends, but leaving for those 4 years was a really good choice for me. Yes is was tough to be away from them for the first time, but I was able to grow up a lot, make my own choices, and have a little bit of freedom (and no I never did anything "wrong" while having that freedom).

    Also, having never shared anything in my entire life until my freshman year when I shared a dorm room with a girl who had a twin sister so she's shared everything since the womb, was a huge adjustment, but also a huge learning experience in patience, boundries, and understanding.

    Living at school was a great decision and great opportunity for me. It was also a ton of fun!!!!
     
  25. futureteach21

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    I noticed this too! Bros and I are close in age so its interesting the same thing happened. My mom even noticed a few weeks ago that almost all of my friends have transferred at least once. MANY have gone away for a semester, been too homesick, and then came back. Mom told me that when she was in college, if you got the opportunity to go away, you took it and wouldn't even think of transferring. Interesting new trend...
     
  26. Rebecca1122

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    I also think I made many more friends (and one great boyfriend!) going away than I would have commuting from home. Living in a dorm forces you to get to know people and since most everyone is far away from home, people reach out to each other more so, like in class or in clubs. My roommate now went to a 4 year university that was close to home for her first year, but it happens to be a school where the majority of people commute. She said it was horrible socially...people drove there, went to class, and drove home. She had a hard time making friends.
    But for people who have a network of friends already, or aren't looking for that from college, or maybe are exceptionally good at reaching out to people then that wouldn't be so much of a factor. I am somewhat shy so I needed to be forced to make friends and step out of my comfort zone.
     
  27. Ranchwife

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    I grew up (and now live) 5 hours from any 4 year college that wasn't a technical school. "Going away" to college was simply the only option for me, while going to a junior college 2 hours away wasn't an option. I didn't want to start at JC and was ready for a 4 year. I ended up in Eugene, Oregon, which was 5 hours from home. At that phase in my life, I was ready to cut the umbilical cord and step out on my own. I was still close enough to go home on breaks, and my parents would visit about every two months, but the distance gave me the opportunity to grow up. I think there needs to come a time in everyone's life when they must step out from the shadow of their parents and live their own life, not because their life is bad or there are problems at home, but simply because it is time. For many kids, that means going away for college.
     
  28. Ms. I

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    To everyone who's had fabulous experiences being away at college, that's great. I'm not knocking it. I'm just curious to know the aspects of why parents think it's great that's all. I agree, you definitely will be more independent...WELL, YOU KIND OF HAVE TO LEARN TO FEND FOR YOURSELF. It's like how some people learn to swim by being thrown in the pool, which it may work for some, but I'm personally not for it. :)

    newbie1234, I agree.

    Again, I'm not criticizing. My parents would just NEVER do anything like that in a million yrs. But, we ALL have our opinions & ways of doing things, which of course everyone thinks their opinion is the RIGHT way, otherwise, they wouldn't think that way. I mean you can't tell an atheist that there IS a God. They don't want to think that someone else's opinion/belief is right because that's not what they believe. (Just using that as an example).

    I don't know, I'd like to know stats on that. So many parents tend to have than "when you're 18 or 21, you're outta here" type mentality. Yes, of course there's a lot of kids who WANT to go away, but there's a lot of parents w/ that other mentality too.

    Wow Tiffany, I'm sure that was tough at 17! I commend you! :)Now if you had different kinds of parents who had totally different views, you could have stayed at home while going to college at 18 & graduated 4 yrs later w/ a degree at 22, then would have been better equipped to find a better job to live on your own, HOWEVER, everyone's life doesn't all go the same way. We make the best of it & move forward. You probably look back on it now & think that the experience has made you stronger, so that's wonderful if you feel that way! I guess my parents don't see why people have to go out there & struggle & work whatever jobs they can find to scrape money together, w/o even having the proper skills & be equipped to have a good job to be out on one's own yet. I wish more parents weren't so quick to have their kids out, but, to each their own.
     
  29. MissSkippyjonJones

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    As many have already stated, I don't think it's the parents who are doing most of the decision making (yes some are telling their kids that at 18 they need to leave) it's the college student who is deciding what they want to do and for many, that's go away to college.
     
  30. TeacherGroupie

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    One of the marks of mature thinking is the ability to perceive when there may be more than one legitimate perspective on a matter.
     
  31. Ms. I

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    I completely agree! I'm broadening my mind trying to understand others' viewpoints on the issue.
     
  32. DizneeTeachR

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    I chose to stay home or live with family closer to the school. I was saving money, working 2 jobs (on the weeknds) & was in school. I want the hassle of roommates or whatever. My sis stayed in dorms at her school. I think it's just the child's matter of preference... I don't think you can take it personally if they want to "experience" different things.
     
  33. swansong1

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    I'm glad someone finally said this. I've been trying to think of the right way of saying this since the thread started. I don't see where all the negativity fits in with the topic of going away (or staying home) for college.
     
  34. TiffanyL

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    Wow Tiffany, I'm sure that was tough at 17! I commend you! :)Now if you had different kinds of parents who had totally different views, you could have stayed at home while going to college at 18 & graduated 4 yrs later w/ a degree at 22, then would have been better equipped to find a better job to live on your own, HOWEVER, everyone's life doesn't all go the same way. We make the best of it & move forward. You probably look back on it now & think that the experience has made you stronger, so that's wonderful if you feel that way! I guess my parents don't see why people have to go out there & struggle & work whatever jobs they can find to scrape money together, w/o even having the proper skills & be equipped to have a good job to be out on one's own yet. I wish more parents weren't so quick to have their kids out, but, to each their own. [/QUOTE]

    Well, I'm a strong believer that difficult experiences teach us so much and easy experiences don't teach us much at all. When life is smooth sailing, we don't develop and grow as much as we do when life throws us curve balls......then we must develop emotionally, then we mature, we must become empathetic, etc., etc.
     
  35. MuggleBug

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    I love my parents to death but my 4 years away at college were truly so much fun. I learned a lot about myself, overcame a lot of my shyness, and made lifelong friends. I got to experience things that I wouldn't have if I had stayed home. I didn't mind going back home after graduation for a couple years, but it was a little tough after being away and independent for 4 years.
     
  36. Ms. I

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    May 11, 2010

     
  37. Aliceacc

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    My parents appreciated that each of the 5 of us bought ourselves a car as seniors in high school. We all got part time jobs at 16 and saved for that goal. Mine was a 1974 Ford Maverick :)
     
  38. TeacherShelly

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    May 11, 2010

    Mine was a 1974 Super Beetle!
     
  39. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 11, 2010

    One of the marks of maturity in discourse is resisting the temptation either to trump or to dismiss the alien experience that one's discourse partner recounts. Of course, that also requires that one view discourse partners primarily as partners rather than primarily as one's audience.
     
  40. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    May 11, 2010

    Point noted TG.
     
  41. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    May 11, 2010

    I debated whether to share this because I can't imagine it not coming across as anything but rude and offensive, but I do believe it's a valid point and my intentions are not to be mean-spirited whatsoever...

    Many people, as you know already, Ms. I, would believe you are too dependent upon your parents as a woman in your thirties, and that perhaps had your college experiences differed, you would be more independent now. Please understand that as I have said in other discussions, there are various reasons and circumstances, cultural and otherwise, that lead to a person remaining at home beyond early adulthood...and that is okay. I am not insulting that decision.

    There is clearly not a one size fits all approach to college education and the various decisions to be made pertaining to that education.
     

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