The decision to go away to college or stay home is a difficult one for many students. Because it often expensive to live on campus, living at home while attending college classes appeals to many young people. However, there are advantages to going away to college, living on campus and fully immersing yourself in university life. The on-campus college experience can be a time of tremendous intellectual and social growth and learning for students.

Independence

Going away to college if often an important step in learning to live independently. Students who stay at home may still live with their parental' rules or have the luxury of not working. By contrast, going away to college forces a young person to take full responsibility for her life, schedule, health, social activities and finances. With no parents around, college students must learn to fend for themselves, balance their budgets and deal with problems on their own.

Tolerance and Diversity

Going away to college can be an opportunity to learn how to live with and tolerate others. Residence hall life gives young people the chance to meet people from various backgrounds who may have different morals, values, political or religious views. Students can learn valuable lessons about getting along with others, whether it's dealing with a difficult roommate or challenging their own beliefs about people of a particular culture or race.

Exploring a New Place

Going to college in a different city or state can also allow a student to explore a place he may never have the opportunity to see otherwise. A student from a small town can live in a big city, or a U.S. student can explore life at a university in Europe. Learning to navigate life in a new place gives students memories and experiences that they will have for the rest of their lives, and the chance to see what life is like somewhere besides home.

Involvement

Living on campus or going away to college also gives students the chance to get fully involved in university life. Students who commute or live at home don't often have time to attend social functions, participate in interest groups or immerse themselves in daily campus life. Students who live on campus are within walking distance to everything that happens on campus, whether it's a mixer, a play or a party. Getting involved in campus life helps college students make friends, become members of clubs and can often gain access to internships or jobs.