As a kid, everyone looks up to college students and imagines how cool they will be once they get to that stage of life. College was always in my plans; but I never could have imagined where it would take me or what it would be like.
I easily could have attended the local college that practically everyone in my high school went to. But, that was just too easy and I wanted something different. I wanted to get away. I could have followed the other half of my graduating class attended, UW-Madison. Unfortunately UW-Madison was too big, too smart, and to be honest, a little too scary. No, I chose one of the only UW schools that isn't named after the city in which it's located. I chose UW-Stout.
Stout provided me the perfect get away from the city I had been lived in my whole life. Here are the reasons I am happy I chose to move away from home and why at some point in your young adult life you should too:
1. Moving away forces you to meet new people.
When else do you get to room with a perfect stranger in the close quarters of a dorm room
2. You become independent I learned to do my own laundry…cooking…and literally everything else my mom had done for me the past 18 years. "Adulting" is a step in everyone’s life that is necessary in order to advance and be successful. You will learn by making mistakes and that’s the best way to do it.
3. You gain confidence! At the very least, I was shy in high school. Okay, I was a blushing idiot in high school. Moving away to college teaches you to branch out and find the groups that interest you the most.
4. You can have a fresh start. You don’t have to change the person you are, but you can be who you are without the presence of people who saw you throughout puberty. The high school and college atmospheres are so different. It has taken me until my junior in college to realize that, but it’s the truth
5. You will meet some of the best people.
You learn to fight with them, communicate, cry, and vent to them. You may find some that are lost along the four years but those who remain will always stick by your side.
6. You will learn to navigate a different city
At Stout, this would be the Bottoms where sunbathing in 70-degree weather 20 minutes away on some hard little pebbles is so worth it. Log Jam is another hang out, one of the best places to eat out. I swear I went there every other week.
7. You get to travelI had never been to Minnesota before starting my freshman year at Stout. It just so happened that my freshman roommate was a Minnesotan, so it gave me the perfect opportunity to go there for the first time. The Mall of America is definitely worth checking out.
8. You learn who your true hometown friends are
Hint: they’re the ones that contact you when you need it most, when you’d rather talk to them rather than anyone else.
9.You will relish the attributes you inherited from your parents.
You will miss the quirky things they did that previously pissed you off, even if the day you come home it pisses you right back off. And most of all, you realize your parents were often right like they had always said.
*Photos 1, 5, 6, 8, & 9 provided by Ellen Miller