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Comparison & Contrast Essay - Living at Home and Living Away from Home as Students (During the Higher Education Studies)

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Comparison & Contrast Essay

Living at home and living away from home as students (during the higher education studies)

Millions of students are often faced with the question of whether it is better to live at home or to go abroad and hence away from home for the period of their studies. Many would probably intuitively say that leaving home is an effort that is not necessary since the same opportunities for one’s study are often given where one lives, thus at the home city or home place. However, there are a number of advantages that can be found about the same decision.
To begin with, living at home while studying means being close to family, friends and colleagues one knows, likes, and loves. It is simple, convenient and beneficial to keep and foster those relations. In fact, most friendships are built in the environment one grew up in, went to school, or worked. Hence, staying home during the studies provides the possibility for spending more enjoyable time with these friends and family members. This means that one can go out for a drink with friends after the university or college, have a dinner or enjoy a movie at the cinema together. More importantly however, apart from spending the good times together, very often study-related problems occur. This could mean to have troubles with a lecturer who does not grade fairly or fellow students who do not treat someone appropriately, i.e. teasing or even fighting. Especially during times like these, will it be essential to have the known friends in the known and familiar environment who help to get through the difficulties. An advice from a “good old friend” might be worth a lot and it is often irreplaceable. Moreover, these relationships are very often the ones that remain long-lasting. That means by leaving home for the studies, it could jeopardize the friendships and mean that one loses old friends, or loosens the bonds with family members.
On the other hand, leaving home and studying away from home could lead to establishing new friendships, and these may grow to become closer relationships than the ones one had before. In fact, if two or more people are found themselves abroad and share the same feelings and concerns, it may well be that these relations flourish accordingly. Hence, one can go out and have fun with new friends, and work on developing new friendships. When it comes to difficult times, newly found friends can be as good as or even better than the old ones. After all, this depends mainly on the person or friend that one has and spends the time with. It might be naïve to say that only the friends one had for a long time are those who will be there in good and bad times. The same goes for the idea that only friendships that stem from home will remain long-lasting. Despite the fact that friends become separated after the study stay, for instance because one or all parties return back home, both the relation and hence the bond can remain by means of meeting up regularly, and communicating together via telephone, internet or regular mail.
Apart from a social point of view though, staying at home for the studies could furthermore mean that the career develops without a lot of effort and hassle. Since the local papers, connections and relations are best-known in the own environment, one knows easily where to go to send an application, where to go for an interview, or who to ask for an internship, for example. Hence staying at home during the studies can set the foundation for a successful job by being able to show experiences in form of traineeships or internships, which could not have been found if one studied away from home and maybe abroad, because one would not have found such an internship.
In contrast to that, however, living away from home might lead to even better opportunities with only a little bit of more or even no additional effort. For instance, depending on the individual one may establish contacts within the new local environment very soon and thus can manage to find an even better internship than one that could have been found in the local environment. In addition to that, maybe the home environment is simply not appropriate for the targets one aims at. One example for that could be someone studying “Business” close to the Silicon Valley, which in itself could be opening better future prospects than studying the same in an unknown small village which is home, simply due to being close to the business hub. Contacts and thus jobs for the time after the studies might develop automatically and by simply linking with other and new people.
In addition to decisions relating to friends and family and possible career improvements, the degree to which one can learn new things may also be very relevant. Studying at home can mean that one experiences new things around the own home environment. Sociologists state that the most objective way of experiencing something is to pretend to be a stranger, when looking at the known and familiar. That is to say, one could stay in the home environment and still experience the familiar place as something new, challenging and educational, when looking at it the same way a tourist would do. Therefore, this would mean that one experiences new things about the “known” home environment. Cultural sights such as museums not noticed before, social events taking place in the home environment, or musical events one did not know about are some of the examples that could be experienced.
On the contrary however, when leaving home and applying the same concept, one would not only experience something new, but it may even be better than what one could have experienced in the local environment. For instance, a museum may be bigger or more exotic away from home, or a rock star might appear at a place different from home. Additionally, the things experienced away from home may open one’s horizon by getting to know new locations, people, and thus cultures. These might be that much better than what one new from before, that one implements it after the period of the studies when returning home. This could mean that a new language is experienced while studying away from home, and the knowledge of the new language will be acquired and taken on home. Possibly even, a completely new thinking and “way of life” will be found away from home and that could impress to such an extend, that the complete life will be changed in accordance to that. So for instance, one can get to know a new religion or other cultural practices, which were not found out about when one stayed at home.
Another consideration and probably even a very relevant one when thinking about whether to study at home or away from home, is the financial aspect. Staying at the home place can be cost-effective because of at least two reasons. Very obviously, it does not involve any travelling and hence travelling costs are avoided, secondly, it usually also means that one knows where the cheapest items to buy tuition utensils, such as books or financial calculators, are. On the contrary, arriving and staying away from home to study would rather be costly as both of those mentioned reasons do not hold. One may find more favourable shops that provide rather good prices for the materials needed during the course of the studies, however, by searching and looking for these options, time passes and hence this would reflect an economic loss, following the principle that “time is money”.
Finally, a point of comparison for whether one should live at home or live away from home to study is the question related to autonomy. Very often, when living at home while conducting the study, the character does develop differently than when leaving home. That is to say that since one stays in the known environment, one “opens up” less and stays more dependent on parents, siblings, and friends. Often, it is the parents who will do the laundry, and friends and siblings might help with the cooking or shopping. In contrast, when going away from home to study, simply due to the fact that it will be an unknown environment, everything from finding an apartment to finding shopping possibilities has to be “figured out” on one’s own and must be learned from scratch, without the help of others. This unavoidably develops the person’s character to become more independent, and in turn, will have a positive impact on the time after the studies, by being less dependent in the job or in a relationship, and by finding one’s way quicker as one went through the experience already.
All in all, living away from home or staying at home for the period of the higher education may be beneficial or unfavourable, depending on the personal needs and desires of the particular individual. Someone who is rather open to new cultures or does not have a very strong connection to the family and local friends or is wealthy enough may find it very interesting, exciting and educating to leave home. However, someone who prefers the own environment and the known, who would miss the parents and friends highly, or who does not have the financial means, would almost certainly find it better to spend the period of the studies at the home place, and it might even affect the academic results when he or she would had left home.…...

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