The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

There’s no place like home: Seniors discuss returning to Potomac after college

As the end of May draws closer and closer, so does the graduation of the Class of 2013. Whether these soon-to-be alumnae are headed for foreign countries clear across the globe or 15 minutes away, all are planning on discovering some new terrain after high school graduation.

But how many will end up back in Potomac after graduating from college? Are these seniors saying adiós to the 20854 or will they make their own addresses close to their hometown?

“I can definitely see myself moving back to Potomac,” senior Alexandra Cid said. “It’s a bubble of saftey.  I’d first love to travel around and see new places and get new perspectives of life, but ultimately, ending up in Potomac would be great.”

Cid is planning on going to Montgomery College. Like many other members of the Class of 2013, proximity to home was a major factor of her college choice.

Story continues below advertisement

According to senior Alex Korty, who plans on attending Stenvenson Univeristy, also located in Maryland, he did not want to move too far from home initially but would like to end up in a major city, such as New York, a few years down the road.

“College is a lot to adjust to, so I wanted to be close to things I know,” Korty said.

Several CHS teachers used to live in the area, including AP Language Teacher Jennifer Miller. Miller grew up in Takoma Park, MD and went to Richard  Montgomery High School.

According to Miller, after a year of working in New York, she decided her job was not challenging her enough, and she missed friends and family, so she looked at graduate programs around the D.C. area.

“I think it is really good for some people to go away from home for college and truly immerse themselves in a new experience,” Miller said. “I was nervous to do that because I’m so close with my family and I had never really been away from home much, but it was a challenge that I thought was important to take on. It really helped me broaden my perspective, meet different kinds of people, and ultimately, really appreciate all that the Maryland-D.C. area has to offer.”

Predicting whether one will come home is difficult as so many factors can alter one’s destined path.

According to an Observer survey of three English classes, 53 percent of the seniors surveyed can see themselves living in Potomac as an adult and 23 percent had a parent who grew up in Potomac. Also, the survey indicated that 66 percent of seniors in an AP English class see moving back to Potomac as a possibility compared to 53 percent of an honors English class and only 33 percent of a regular English class.

According to AP Literature teacher Eleanor Goodwin, these statistics may be relevant to the high expectations attributed to AP students in Potomac.

“My gut reaction is that this area might have too much pressure in academic expectations, even American Dream expectations,” Goodwin said. “Students who don’t necessarily want to move back to Potomac may see more importance in hobbies, friends, personal satsifactions; it’s an over achieving culture we have here. Just because they don’t want to come back to Potomac doesn’t mean they don’t want to come back to Montgomery County.”

Some students may wish to come back home in order to to maintain strong family relationships.

“It’s good to stay close to family,” Cid said.

Yet anyone determined to stay in the area may face a change of heart later on, be it a year or a decade from now.

“I think that it’s natural for some people to want to come back to their hometown area, it is familiar, it is where we have roots, and often where we still have family,” Miller said. “I think that probably makes the bigger difference. I have friends from high school whose parents moved to another state as soon as high school was over and those friends haven’t moved back to this area.”

Like most major decisions in life, there exist a rather lengthy list of benefits to both sides of the distance one moves. Moving far away from home is an action that creates new experiences and opens one up to the a completely new side of the world, but staying close to home  allows for stability and safety.

A reason why half of the Class of 2013 wants to leave Potomac may be because of a Western cultural influence.

According to AP Human Geography teacher Adam Field, it is a Western cultural value for children to have experiences beyond the home. Remaining stationary isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it would mean a loss of opportunity.

“My advice would be don’t call home everyday, don’t  Skype or email because that makes homesickness worse,” Field said. “Try as hard as you can to develop a safety net at school and build a new social circle. Fear of the unknown is good, normal. It heightens your senses.”

And yet staying in one place seems to carry a negative connotation, for what does it say about a person if they never leave where they are comfortable?  Is this wise or lazy?

According to Miller, staying home can have a negative implication as it can be seen as “the easy route” and  “falling back on your comfort zone.” But coming back home can be a positive thing.

“I think it is good to live in other places and have new experiences, but there is also nothing wrong with knowing that you might like to raise your own family near where you grew up,” Miller said. “Sometimes we take things for granted and don’t realize how good we had it until we go somewhere else.”

No matter who the student is, fear of new places is inevitable, but also normal. The seniors who do choose to leave Potomac for some faraway land will not be alone in new place anxiety.

Leaving home may actually be a very gratifying action, as well.

“It can be scary, but also incredibly rewarding,” Miller said. “Going away for college is like most things in life: you’re only going to get out of it what you’re willing to put in. If you don’t take the risk, you might not get the reward.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Observer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
There’s no place like home: Seniors discuss returning to Potomac after college