Out of state college dreams seem impossible, unreachable, but can be realistic option for most

The Orator Staff

“The sky’s the limit.”

“Reach for the stars.”

These cliches have been thrown at us from the time we stepped into our kindergarten classes way back when, but the truth of it is that by the time we get to high school it’s more like “Nebraska’s the limit,” and “those stars burnt out.”

Of course when we were little we all dreamed of being doctors, astronauts, veterinarians and so much more and many of those dreams came with the picture of us attending colleges far away from home. But for many of us that picture has been torn in half as we prepare for adulthood.

When telling counselors, teachers, family and friends of plans to go to college out of state we’re met with, “that’s really expensive” or “why go there when UNL [University of Nebraska at Lincoln] has a decent program for that?”

We never receive positive reinforcement for trying to do something different nor advice to help us reach our goal. Instead we feel ridiculous for even thinking we would make it out of the state.

We know out of state college is expensive compared to staying in state. We don’t need that thrown in our faces as the first response to sharing our dreams. What we need are people to be supportive of our decisions and help making those dreams become realities.
We need them to reassure us that there are ways to make it happen. For example, there are discounts at most universities for out of state students, not to mention numerous scholarship opportunities available.

Additionally, college is pricey in general so if people are going to go in debt anyway, why not go to one’s dream school instead of settling for the mediocre version of it? Why not be all in on one’s education and future?

Even schools seem to push UNL, UNO (University of Nebraska-Omaha), Metropolitan Community College and other in-state schools or local schools.

They claim that there is higher interest in local schools, and there is absolutely no problem with attending one of those schools if that’s where the student wants to go, but could it be because students are afraid of even try to go out of state because of the negative feedback and fear mongering they get when that conversation takes place?

If students were encouraged to explore options outside of Nebraska as much as they were encouraged to go to these schools how many of them would still stay? When people are talked to about the same thing all the time, they are going to start to think they have no other options and settle.

There are many benefits of going to an out of college such as getting to explore different parts of our country, getting to know new cultures, greater independence and more career prospects.

Adults have often brought up the fact that they won’t be able to come home as often or imagine moving all of their stuff hours away. These are minor issues that have simple solutions and most of these problems still occur with in state college.

College is supposed to prepare people for the real world. Out of state colleges help prepare students for that even more. It lets them figure out if they are comfortable working in a different state away from their families. It gives them more insight on their future than staying at home.
Adults and schools need to start encouraging out of state colleges just as much as in state schools. We need the sky to be the limit again and not have students feel like they are reaching too far out.