One of the things I love most about UMass is the location in terms of proximity to my hometown of Framingham, which is about an hour and forty-five minutes away from campus on average. Being in-state offers the security of knowing I am not a multi-hour plane ride away and am always close enough to go home if there is any kind of emergency regarding myself or a family member.
Unfortunately, this past weekend my grandmother was hospitalized, and I spent a few hours visiting her in Springfield with my mom to do what we could to cheer her up and help her feel better. My mom didn’t tell my grandma that I was joining her trip to the hospital, so it was very heartwarming to see her face light up in surprise and joy that I was there. I know that if I had gone to one of the much farther away schools I applied to instead of UMass, I definitely would not have been able to visit and be there for her.
As an in-state student, you are never more than a few hours drive from home. I definitely felt more confident with my decision to come to UMass knowing that should anything unexpected happen, I had much less to worry about than if I had gone elsewhere. I like to think of it as being just close enough to cover those types of situations, but still perfectly far enough that I don’t feel like I barely left home.
Whether you are in-state or out-of-state, it is definitely important to consider the level of distance from home you are comfortable with when choosing a school! I don’t think that I would have been unhappy going farther away, but it is certainly a benefit to not have to drive ten hours just to get back for break like some of my friends do!