Acquiring knowledge and skills from institutions of higher learning is a prerequisite in the current century. Tertiary education is vital because it helps individuals to secure credentials that are substantial or are applicable to the current labour force.
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It is also reported that tertiary education is important because it helps students develop competency in their level of speciality and as a result, they are able to undergo a transition that makes them better people in the society (Smart and Paulsen 363-364).
The idea of joining a college brings forth mixed emotions for high school graduates. Questions such as what college to attend and whether to move away from home or attend college while staying at home are also prevalent. This essay seeks to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of living away from home while attending university.
Many students prefer to apply for universities that are not within their home towns. Those who opt to attend universities that are located within the vicinity of their homes prefer to live in college apartments or reside with their friends.
This assertion is supported by Grigsby who asserts that the idea of students living away from home is prevalent and, it is as old as the idea of industrialization (39-40). The rationale behind this idea revolves around the notion that most students do not intend to return back to their parent’s homes after completing their university education.
Living away from home while attending university is one of the best options that any college student can ever choose. This is because living away from normal life as they know it helps them go through major life transitions such as becoming independent individuals.
This notion is indicated by the students who live away from home while attending college education have a better chance to achieve higher levels of independence (1-2). This is because when students live away from home they learn how to cope with daily activities that they would not have learnt if they were residing in their parents’ house.
In support for acquiring higher levels of independence, Grigsby insists that students who live away from home are more likely to become responsible people in the society (39-42). This is attributed to the fact that, such students become more aware of their surroundings, their roles and what is expected of them.
This also means that they are able to make rational decisions based on their learnt ideas. Therefore, they become more organized in terms of budgeting for their resources and implementing their plans.
Independence and responsible behaviour are better achieved through experience. However, achieving the two can be a daunting task for students who reside with their parents because of the overbearing and caring attitudes associated with parenting.
Living away from home is important because it helps students to expand their horizons in terms of how they understand the world around them. This is because, by living away from home, students are able to live with, and, interact with other students who come from different backgrounds.
This is important because it helps them to develop strategies that are relevant when existing in a multi cultural setting. Students living away from home eliminate autonym. This is because, the students are able to attain some sense of flexibility and thus, they are able to seek life paths that are very different from their parent’s.
Therefore, they are able to form their own identity and make major strides towards becoming global citizens (Newman B., and Newman P., 392-394).
Another advantage of living away from home while in university is acquiring higher levels of self awareness. It is important for university students to experience life on their own in order for them to become more aware of their potential and limitation.
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Through self awareness, students are able to know what is important to them thus they end up prioritizing their education and consequently their life goals. This helps them to compete at the same level with their college counterparts.
In support of this concept, Grigsby explains that self awareness is vital because it helps students to operate within their limits thus they avoid setting unrealistic goals (39-40).
The idea of students living away from home while attending university has been highly recommended however, it is important to note that, there are a number of factors that limit the practicality of this idea (Feldman, & Newcomb, 2009).
The world has seen major economic issues that impact directly on the living standards of students and their families. This has necessitated the need for students to work while attending school in order to cater for their expenses.
This trend is however very common with students living away from home as they are inclined to work for more hours in order to keep up with the high living standards, and the lavish lifestyles of college students. Smart argues that, students who spend more time working rather than attending lectures are more likely to drop out of university in their quest to achieve financial stability (30).
It is also possible for students to become stressed up especially when balancing between achieving commendable grades and sustaining their livelihoods. Smart reports that, due to the closeness deficit created when students move away from home, such students are likely to engage in sourcing out for more work in order to appease their parents with financial support (33).
This translates to higher levels of stress which are likely to translate to dropping out of university or engaging in mischievous acts such as crime. This also leads to development of mental issues that require counselling and psychiatric attention therefore, dragging students behind.
It is important to note that, not all social relations are advantageous to students. This is because some students are prone to associating with individuals who impact negatively on their lives. Smart argues that social ties, through friendship, can lead college students to activities such as drug abuse (32).
When students develop such behaviour when they are away from home, it is difficult for parents to notice or monitor the extent of the behaviour. This therefore leads to the development of unacceptable social conduct thus, compromising on the student’s ability to finish their university education.
In conclusion, there are advantages and disadvantages of students living away from home while going through university education. While living away from home, students stand to become independent, responsible, and more self-aware.
They also acquire some sense of cultural mobility. It is also evident that such students are prone to become work oriented, stressed and engage in social misconduct.
Feldman, Kenneth, and Theodore Newcomb. The impact of college on students. New Jersey: New Brunswick, 1994. Print.
Grigsby, Mary. College life through the eyes of students. New York: State University of New York Press, 2009. Print.
Newman, Barbara, and Philip Newman. Development Through Life: A Psychosocial Approach. 11th ed. California: Cengage Learning, 2009. Print
Smart, John, and Michael Paulsen. Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research. Eds. New York: Springer, 2011. Print.
Smart, John. Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research. Vol. 24. New York: Springer, 2009. Print.