Here's What I've Learned from Living in Laramie

My time is almost up here in Laramie. After attending the University of Wyoming for a year and a half, I am headed back to my hometown to finish my last semester of college, which consists of student teaching. Before moving to Laramie, I had never lived more than 10 minutes away from my family and significant other. Now, I am 3 hours away in the other corner of the state. I will back with my family tomorrow and I am so excited for it. However, I will never forget the things I learned here.

1) Never go to Walmart After 4 P.M.

This is incredibly important as a college student. Don’t bother with Safeway because they’re always busy and Ridley’s is just expensive. Please heed my warning and always go in the middle of the day during classes or super late at night, but never around the time school gets out. There are just too many people scurrying the aisles and it can get claustrophobic at times.


2. Take Advantage of the Cute Shops Downtown

Shopping for things at chain stores is great, but sometimes you just can’t beat those little mom and pop shops that have fancy knick-knacks or rustic decor. The Bent and Rusty is a great place for rustic furniture and craft items, you may end up spending a whole paycheck there. The Curiosity Shoppe is along the same lines and it has Hallmark cards! Sure you could go to Maurices, but why skip out on the cowboy clothes that you can find at Martindales? All I’m saying is shop downtown.


3. Eat Downtown Too

Sure, Applebee’s and Chili's are great places to eat, but when you’re in a small town, go where the elderly go. They know the best places to eat around town and it is usually a cute mom and pop restaurant. My life has been forever changed since I tried Born in a Barn’s wings and fries. I can’t even tell you how much I’m going to miss eating at The Library. If you’re in the mood for a good breakfast, you MUST go to The Prairie Rose Cafe.


4. Driving on Grand is the Worst

Oh Grande Avenue, how I will fail to miss your tight lanes, potholes, and cars parked too far out on the side of the road. I have never had more anxiety than driving down that street. The newer part past the dorms and near big businesses is fine, but the old part heading to downtown, makes you white-knuckle drive the whole way down.

5. Driving in Laramie is the Worst

Just driving in this whole town is bad. College students are trying to get used to where the stop signs are and which lanes are turn only lanes, but it is so stressful! I almost got into 3 accidents in the same day because people were not paying attention to the road signs. Just please stay alert!


6. Good Luck Finding A Decent Gas Station

There are two gas stations in the whole town that I will only go to; Big D on Grand and the Loaf and Jug on 3rd Street. The really good ones are in West Laramie off of the interstate, but that’s just too far. The ones that are closer to me are small or old and sketchy.

7. You’ll Make Amazing Friends You’ll Be Sad to Leave

During my year and a half here, I have made some great friends, inside classes and out. Most of my class friends are in the same major, so we are all going through a lot of the same things right now. My friends outside my classes are about a year younger than me and I wish I could just take them back home with me. Luckily, I won’t live too far away so I can come visit whenever I want. I’ve invited most of my college friends to my wedding because I feel that we will talk long after college is over with.



8. Your College Professors Are Almost Always Awesome

College professors are almost still college kids. On a day they don’t feel like doing something, they’ll cancel class or totally remove an assignment because they don’t want everyone to feel stressed. They’ll give lots of extra credit, use memes in their presentation, or buy everyone food for finals. There are some professors who are very strict or don’t seem to want to have fun, but a majority want to make your time enjoyable.

9. College and College Towns Can Be Scary

Not trying to fear monger here, but after everything that shows up in the news about date rape and the whole Brock Turner situation, I have paid so much more attention to my surroundings when I go out. I don’t go out often, but when I do, I always take my drink with me and I never walk somewhere alone at night. Always go out with a group of people. Not only does it make it more fun, it’s also safer that way. It doesn’t matter if it’s a busy bustling bar like Roxie’s or a quiet one like Bud’s, always have your best interest in mind.

10. I’m Going To Miss It

Even though I felt like I was ripped away from my family and hometown, I had some very memorable times here in Laramie. I have made amazing friends and met some awesome colleagues. I have learned many new things, seen new places, and experienced new situations. I’ve done a lot of growing here, but now it’s time for me to pack up and leave. Laramie, you’ve been good to me but bad on my wallet this past year and a half. See you at graduation!


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