I so clearly remember my first few days at Iowa State that I can close my eyes and feel 17 again. I wanted so badly to go to a school where I would just be one of many. I had no idea just how difficult that would be at first.
My stomach hurt every day for the first week or two of college. My friends at home kept telling me how much they loved college and I just didn't get it.
I was lonely. I had gone from having a constant large group of friends for the past 12 years to essentially knowing no one. I remember feeling so lost as I spent days walking around campus not seeing one familiar face.
The classes were fine. Honestly, compared to my high school, I thought most of my first semester classes were a walk in the park. There was a lot of work, but it wasn't hard.
I begged my parents to let me transfer to UNI second semester, to which they said no. They said I had to give Iowa State a year and if I still felt the same way, then I could transfer.
Am I ever glad they did.
Flash forward four and a half years later. It's a sunny December day and I have just put on my cap and gown and descended the staircase to meet my roommates and family before heading to Hilton Coliseum for graduation ceremonies.
I was so sad to be leaving Iowa State. I had lived in Ames longer than I had lived in the house my family currently lived in. I could not go anywhere without seeing someone I knew, which my family constantly made fun of me for.
I had gotten very involved in the Greenlee School my last two years and didn't quite feel prepared for the real world. I had made some great friends at the PC and it still remains one of my favorite jobs to this day.
I would miss Buck Burgers and celebrating birthdays at Hickory Park. I would miss tailgating and house parties. Most of all I would miss my friends and being able to call Iowa State "mine."
As I left Iowa State, I wasn't stressed out about entering the job market like most graduates. I had other plans. One of my college roommates, two high school friends and I were about to leave on an adventure of a lifetime...we were moving to London, England for six months.
We planned to get jobs, live it up in the UK and then I would return to Des Moines and get a job in PR. Well, as I've now learned, life never turns out the way I think it will and it was my move to London that made all the difference in my life.