When it came time to apply for colleges I knew only one thing - I wanted to go somewhere big where I didn't run into everyone I knew all of the time. My parents kept reminding me that anywhere I went was going to be bigger than what I what used to, but I didn't listen. I never considered community colleges or the very nearby University of Northern Iowa. I really wanted to go to a large university out of state but my parents - thankfully - talked me out of having to go to a school where I would have to pay out of state tuition.
That pretty much left me with one of two options - The University of Iowa in Iowa City or Iowa State University in Ames. I hadn't decided on a major yet so choosing a school based on the curriculum wasn't very helpful. I grew up in Eastern Iowa and in a family full of Hawkeye (University of Iowa) fans. I loved Iowa City. It was very liberal and such a great town. But I fell in love the minute I visited the Iowa State campus. It was beautiful and compact. In fact, Iowa State is one of only three colleges to have received the American Society of Landscape Architects medallion award given to outstanding landscape sites. I knew only five of my classmates planned to also attend Iowa State and it was settled.
I applied and was accepted in October and put the decision out of mind with all the bustle of finishing senior year.
Flash forward to August and the night before I planned to leave for school. I had to leave for school at 6 am to be there in time for work orientation and here I was coming home at 2 am from one last night out with my high school friends. I wasn't finished packing and my mom was furious with me.
"If you forget anything, that's going to be your fault."
"Mom, if I forget anything, I will be home again and can pick it up then."
Facing the pile of stuff I had yet to pack and the memories of the fun and laughter from earlier that night, the reality of my decision began to sink in.
Suddenly, I began to panic. What was I doing? Did I really want to go somewhere without knowing anyone really?
And this was the beginning of my impulsive, crazy moves to places where I am forever starting my life over.
6 years ago