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Going Away

The college selection process is hard and stressful for most students. Picking a school that is right for you can be hard and life changing. Many students choose to stay close to home and study locally, but many students including some at TA choose to expand their horizons and go far away for college.  

Senior Cam Cross is planning to study computer science at a college 1218 miles away, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“It wasn’t a decision of where I wanted to go that drew me out to the midwest. I really just applied to schools that I wanted to go to go to, and it just so happened that the two schools I ended up with were in the midwest. I mean I applied to schools from the east coast to the west coast,” Cross said.

According to the Washington Post, 11% of students travel at least 500 miles away from home when going to college. Only  6% of students travel at least 1000 miles away from home. 58% of students stay within 100 miles of their home when they go to college.

66% of Maine state graduates are enrolled in colleges in Maine, while 72% of students go to college in their own home state nationwide.

Although the school is far away and Cross said he has never even been on campus, he said he is not worried about the journey, and already feels at home.

“I’ve looked at the campus online, I’ve talked to the dean of admissions, I’ve talked to everyone because they really tried to drive me in,” Cross said.

Cross said what made his decision to choose Wisconsin complete was a two-hour phone conversation with the dean of admission of the college of letters and science.

“The big thing that drew me in was, the dean of admission for the college that I got accepted to, wanted to talk to me so he spent 2 hours just talking to me about the school…he told me all the benefits they would give me and what it would mean for me to go to Wisconsin. And having that personalization, going to that school versus going to UMichigan, where they just saw me as another number, that was the big difference,” Cross said.

Another Thornton Academy senior Chris Jordan is traveling over 1200 miles from home to study communications at the University of Tampa, in Tampa, Florida.

“I knew I wanted to get away,” Chris Jordan said. “The area of study in going into, there is way more of a market for communications in TV, radio, and film in Florida, or Texas, or New York, or California, so I knew I was going to have to venture out a bit.”

Jordan says he is looking forward to enjoying the nice weather, but is worried about being so far away from home.

“I remember going to an overnight camp, it was a greek camp, and the second day there I started crying because I missed my mom. I feel like the first couple of weeks are going to be rough,  but it’s going to get better,” Jordan said.

Jordan’s biggest factor in deciding to go to school far away was also driven by academic offerings.

“Well before I even looked at it, I knew it had over 200 majors, and it had a really good digital media program, and communications center, and also they are really into sports science and I feel like that is not my plan B but my alternate A plan. So what really attracted me there was how much they have to offer,” Jordan said.  

Senior Jacob Repucci is also traveling far away to college to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Repucci says that he has traveled before and is ready to do it again.

“I moved here from Washington state two years ago, that transition thing, I think I’m used to it, so I’m ready for this transition,” Repucci said.

Repucci is planning to study both computer science and physics and says the main reason he chose Michigan was for the in-depth research available in those fields.

“Research, they are a very good research school and I am interested in trying to do research so that I’m not just following what other people are doing I am figuring stuff out on my own,” Repucci said.

Repucci says he is very excited to get out of his comfort zone and explore.

“I am also interested in meeting new people there that I can just hang out with, I think if I am having a lot of fun there, I won’t be too sad about leaving,” Repucci said.

When asked what he will miss most about Maine Cam Cross responded as all beaching loving Mainers would, “The ocean, I mean we are right on the coast here and I go out there and the closest thing you have is the Great Lakes, I mean they look like oceans but there is nothing like being on the coast,” Cross said.

All three plan on visiting Maine when they can for a dose of home. Jake will miss his friends and family and admits he “might even feel some nostalgia for Old Thornton Academy” when he is so far away in Michigan. After all, perhaps the old adage is true: Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

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