Jane Beal loves sweat tea, but explains why she won’t be going to college in the South.
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As I snaked through the more than two hundred booths at my first college fair, I found myself consciously avoiding every school in the South. My arms filled with brochures from colleges and universities in stattes from California to New York - but not once did I glance at any school located below the Mason-Dixon line.
I was born in Georgia, so don’t get me wrong: I’m not going to say I don’t appreciate Southern charm or that I haven’t had my fair share of sweet tea, but I believe that after 17 years in the land of Krispy-Kreme doughnuts and conservative politics I’m more than ready to leave the nest.
My restless tendencies aren’t unusual. The desire to explore has been engrained in the psyche of our country since its founding. It’s only natural that some people my age feel this urge to leave the place we’ve come to know so well in an attempt to better understand ourselves. Teenagers everywhere feel the need to flee what’s familiar and predictable and search for something new. Some parents might confuse this as teenage rebellion, but I think it’s better characterized as “growing up.”
Maybe my decision to go so far from home for college will make me appreciate my home in the south, or maybe it will make me never want to come back. But one thing is for sure, I won’t really know what’s out there until I step out of my comfort zone and do some exploring of my own.