Close or Far: Where Seniors are Deciding to Go!


Seniors Kaitlyn Cooper and Ana Kusser

By Riya Kachroo and Mia Rivera

College decisions. One of the most significant times in a student’s high school career. As the May deadline to commit approaches, students are exploring all their options, and figuring out what school to choose. With many different variables contributing to what makes a school the “right fit,” seniors at Wayne Hills are beginning to make their choices. 

The trend of how far students choose to go changes with each year. In the past few years, students have chosen to stay close to home, likely because of the effects of Covid-19, however this year, the balance between staying close to home and going far is prominent. 

Some seniors hope to get an independent college experience, while still enjoying the comfort in knowing they are being close to home. Senior Kaitlyn Cooper said “I’m stuck between Marist and TC NJ- so New Jersey schools. Both of the schools are an hour and half away. It was the perfect distance to get that college experience without being to far from home but also far enough to feel like I’m living alone and seeing friends.” 

Kaitlyn likes that she can have a college experience and make new friends  while still being able to come home when she wants too. Like most other seniors, Kaitlyn is feeling the heat of choosing between schools, but she has narrowed it down by location and is making progress with her decision. 

Senior Keila Caning feels a similar way as well. Keila said “I’m committing to Rutgers. It’s close to home but also far enough to feel like I’m part of a completely different world. I think Rutgers is a healthy balance of still having the comfort of my hometown being close, but also living an independent life.”

Keila isn’t feeling the stress of making a decision as she is committing to Rutgers. She made the decision easily by assessing what aspect of the school she goes to is most important. Other than education, location is important to Keila, and she enjoys being close to home. Rutgers is the perfect place for her, and she can spend the rest of her senior year stress free! 

Having to decide which school you will be attending is a stressful process. The options are endless. There are so many factors that go into choosing the right school for you and your needs. Like distance, school size, majors, people, and community are things people have to consider when making their final decision. Many seniors this year are choosing to go far from home, and truly enjoy their independence. Senior Geena Kim said “I think I’m planning on committing to a school in Florida–maybe Tampa–but I’m not sure yet. I definitely don’t want to be too close to home, I need warm weather and beaches!”

Geena wants the college experience and the Florida school will allow her to do so. These schools have the atmosphere and the vibe that she is looking for. Geena says that these next four years have to be everything. She wants to find the perfect school that she will enjoy learning, and making friends. The Florida schools will help Geena in setting up her future and making a living, with what she wants to study, while being far from home and experiencing true independence. 

Similar to Geena, senior Bradley Galambos “I want to go out of state to be in a different area and New Jersey is a little boring for me. I want to explore new things and see different places.” 

Bradley wants to expand his horizons and go to a place that isn’t as familiar to him as New Jersey is. While he doesn’t know exactly where he wants to go, Bradley is focusing mainly on location when choosing a school, and can’t wait to see what’s out there for him. 

Another huge aspect of making the college decisions, are the parents. Students often turn to parents throughout the college process for opinions and overall guidance. Whether it be finances, location, or a multitude of other aspects of having a good college experience, parents play a key role in choosing a good fit.

Senior Riya Kachroo’s dad, Robert Kachroo, said, “Helping her pick a school was important because we want her to be happy wherever she goes. I think her going far and not living at home is a good idea because I want her to experience living as an adult separate from us. Driving distance would be great, however, because we definitely want to see her often!”

Robert has preferences of his own, but is happy to send Riya wherever she wants to go as long as she is happy!

College decisions are very stressful and many seniors are definitely feeling the pressure. While there is still two months before final decisions have to be made, the deadline is on everyone’s mind. This year, location is definitely having a huge impact on where people are deciding to go, and whether far or close, students are looking forward to starting the next chapter of their lives!