Moving Out of State for College

1,890 miles. The distance between the house I was living in and the new college campus I would be attending. Having spent 12 years in Reno I was ready for a change. Making my decision to move out of state came with careful planning, college visits, and a solid conference choice. I knew I wanted to be in a Division I program and I knew I wanted to be more than 20 minutes from home. I wanted an experience all my own that would push me to not only grow up, but also challenge me outside of my sport. 

After visiting multiple college campus I chose to go to Illinois State University. 1,890 miles from home. I was so excited. With my parents support I made the move just three days after my high school graduation. I want to share with you some of the pros and cons of moving out of state and attending a University that is more than a couple hours drive away. 


  • Truly living on your own
  • Having the freedom to make choices based on your own opinion; and develop those opinions. 
  • Getting to live in a place I had never been before 
  • Meeting new people
  • Being able to reinvent myself 


  • No home cooked meals from mom (although one time she did try to send me cookies and banana bread in the mail.) Tip for future moms with their kids out of state: the banana bread mailed great, the cookies however did not survive the trip. 

  • Even though my family was a phone call away I only saw them once a year at Christmas

As you can see, the pros outweighed the cons, in my case. I found that my college experience made me appreciate where I came from far more than I think I would have, had I stayed closer to home. I commend my parents for supporting me for wanting to go to school so far away from them. Moving out of state was an adjustment that wasn't easy as first and then as you settle in, it does become a bit harder. The people I met in college are some of my best friends and the experiences I had are not replaceable. It is those people and experiences that helped me get through it all. The time seemed to go so fast that is was hard to miss being at home. 

Some things to consider when going out of state:

  1. Distance; driving is really only super convenient if it is under 5 hours.

  2. How close is the airport in case you can jet home for a long weekend if you have it off. 

  3. Do you have an family close to campus.

  4. Is the city you will be living in have amenities that are close to you. 

  5. Do you need a car to get around or are you okay not having one.

  6. Can you see yourself spending the next 4 years in the area. 

Going out of state really allowed me to develop into the adult that I am today. I gained a perspective I would not have had otherwise. I highly advise athletes considering out of state school to go and visit the school, to image yourselves being there learning and playing your sport. When you get on campus there will be an unexplainable feeling that will tell you if it is just the right situation for you. It is very much a “go with your gut” feeling. 

Gong out of state will be adjustment, and nothing can truly prepare you for the experience. Being a young adult making such a big decision is a lot of pressure. The outcome however is very much worth it. 

After graduating from Galena high school, Ciera competed in three season at Illinois State before taking a medical release for her final season. She completed her final year at ISU and graduated with a degree in Communication; Organizational Leadership. She then moved to Chicago to have the experience of living a bigger city and has recently returned to her hometown of Reno, Nevada. Ciera has accepted a position at Nevada Health Centers and is looking forward to a career as a Human Resources Coordinator. She has been playing volleyball since the age of 13 and has 5 years of coaching experience. Feel free to contact Ciera via email at to hear more about her experiences or for additional guidance