SPOTLIGHT: “You just gotta take that leap of faith and just do it”

Students weigh the pros and cons of moving out versus commuting.

As high school students think about college, they consider factors such as acceptance rates, facilities and professors, and how they will be able to get around, whether they move or commute to college. For many SCHS students, however, the college’s location tends to be one of the most important factors.

Senior Saee Pole is planning to attend University of California, Berkeley and she is required to stay in a dorm for her first year of college. UC Berkeley is an hour’s drive from Pole’s home, but she does not see herself visiting her family as much until she has gained more confidence in being independent.

“For the first few months, I don’t think that I’ll be coming back home that often because I want to get used to everything, but later on, maybe once every two weeks,” Pole said.

Pole appreciates that everything in Berkeley is also close by, so she plans on biking or walking to get around. While leaving her hometown, Pole sees herself continuing to live in the Bay Area in the future for job opportunities.

“I can’t really see myself living in another state,” Pole said.

Unlike Pole, senior Lamiha Rahman believes it would be more cost effective for her to commute to college instead of moving. Rahman is planning on attending San Jose State University and does not see a benefit in moving closer to the campus. Although she could live on campus, Rahman now prefers to commute to college because she does not have the need to move.

“My advice to people would be to just remember what college is about. It’s about gaining new experiences and meeting new people. Basically, getting resources before you get a job,” Rahman said. “If staying at home deters you from doing that, then I think it’s best to move out. Personally, since I live pretty close to my university, it’s best for me to commute instead of living on campus.”

Rahman also enjoys being able to stay in the Bay Area because of its personal significance to her and its diversity.

“I love the Bay Area. I’ve grown up here. I was born here and raised here. I just love how diverse it is,” Rahman said. “Even though it can be expensive to live here, I think the Bay Area is just my favorite place in California to be.”

Senior Zaynab Al-Hemyari has made the decision to move from the Bay Area to further her medical college experience. Al-Hemyari has committed to the University of Nicosia Medical School in Cyprus, an island underneath Turkey. Although Al-Hemyari loves the Bay Area, the different education system there will help her get through medical school faster than if she had stayed in California.

“The road to medicine is just too long. Going to Cyprus will shorten that for me,” Al-Hemyari said. “Also, who wouldn’t like living on a Mediterranean island?”

Al-Heymari always knew that she wanted to move out because she believes moving out will provide her with valuable life lessons and will help her become more independent in the future.

“I feel like that’s an experience everyone should have if you can. Really get to know yourself and have that form of independence. Know that you don’t need anyone to live and survive. You got your own back,” Al-Heymari said.

Al-Heymari recommends her peers consider moving out, despite her fear of it. She believes that a move is not too risky because one can always come back home and restart.

“Knowing that you can take care of yourself is just something that you can’t trade for anything,” Al-Hemyari said. “You just gotta take that leap of faith and just do it”