Dear UT Martin: I Was Wrong About You

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Alright, let’s backtrack three years. The University of Tennessee at Martin/Martin, TN was the last place I wanted to be. I was from a big city; I didn’t want to move to this little hole-in-the-wall town that I had never heard of before. However, it was one of, like, two schools in the state that had my major, so, you guessed it, I packed my bags and went to Martin. I still was not a huge fan throughout that first semester of my freshman year. I thought everything in this school was about agriculture and farming. Even though that’s a large part of the campus, over the past three years, I came to learn that there is so much more to Martin. Also, coming from a bigger city, I thought there was going to be nothing to do in Martin, that it wouldn’t feel like home, and that I would only be able to do schoolwork since there was literally nothing else to do. Let’s just say that over the past three years, I’ve realized how wrong I was.

Martin, I’m sorry for assuming that you weren’t going to be what I wanted and needed in my college experience. I mean, we all know what happens when you make assumptions. You’ve given me so much more than I could’ve even dreamed of as a little freshman. You’ve given me a home away from home, a family and my best friends. As cliché as that sounds, it’s true. I can’t even begin to imagine my life without the people that UT Martin has introduced me to. You’ve given me an amazing education and opportunities to grow and advance in my field in ways that I would’ve never imagined. You’ve given me great faculty to work with and an amazing advisor that has almost become like family and such an integral part of my life. You’ve given me Greek life, which I never saw myself being involved in, but now I can’t imagine my life without it. You’ve given me travel opportunities, which have always held such a big place in my heart. And there are so many little things that you’ve given me that I don’t have enough words to write them all down.

Martin, you’ve given me so many things that I did not see coming my way - opportunities I wouldn’t have gotten if I had gone anywhere else - and I can’t say “thank you” enough. I was definitely wrong about you. I took a Facebook quiz the other day called “Which city is calling out to you?” Guess which city came up? Nothing other than good ol’ Martin, TN. And obviously, if Facebook tells you how important Martin is, then it must be true. Three years ago, I did not want anything to do with Martin, but now I’ll tell anybody and everybody how much I love Martin. Whenever someone asks where I go to school, I am always so proud to say UT Martin. If I meet some random high school senior, I tell them to go to UT Martin.

Now, here I am, going into my final year. Wow, am I going to miss this place! That’s definitely something I didn’t think I would ever say three years ago. Martin, I was wrong about you, but thanks for all that you’ve given me. I can’t wait to see what else you’re going to surprise me with this year.