Updated January 2019
How far would you move to find your new college home?
This is the story of one student’s search for their new “home” away from home.
I moved almost 2,000 miles away from my friends, family, and everything I’d known in the Pacific Northwest and found a new place to call my (college) home at the University of Kansas.
Are you a junior in high school? You might find yourself in the same position I was in two years ago. When it came time to choose a college, I had no idea what I wanted for a college experience. I applied to schools that were all across the board: big, small, private, public, sports, and no sports.
No Clue What I Wanted
With all of this confusion, I decided visiting a college counselor to clear up all these different ideas I had in my head. Larry Judd helped me navigate through this complicated and nerve-wracking process of determining my future. Larry was good at his job because he asked the important questions: what do you want out of your college experience?
After a few meetings exploring different universities, I had settled on some general criteria to help further my search. I wanted a small college town experience, with a good sports program, great school spirit and tradition, and a journalism school. Larry presented me with a list of five schools in which I would eventually visit during my winter break of my senior.
Five Schools In Five Days
The other schools I visited aren’t necessarily important for this purpose, but what is important is that I chose the University of Kansas (KU).
I chose KU because the minute I stepped on campus, I felt comfortable. The crimson and blue Jayhawk on my visitor’s guide was smiling at me and I was smiling right back. I was in love with how compact (and beautiful) the campus was. As I looked at all the other students on campus I could see myself there. KU’s campus is home to about 25,000 undergrad students. It’s situated on 1,000 acres in the lovely town of Lawrence, Kansas, home to about 90,000 quirky individuals.
Now, I’m not going to say that as soon as I set foot on campus I knew I was supposed to be there. I tried to figure out what it was I liked about each school I’d visited, and after visiting each school, I would make a pros and cons list. Everything from campus size, the visitor guide, the dorms, and the dining halls; I wanted to evaluate all that each school had to offer so that I could make the best decision for myself.
I ended up choosing KU because of how being on campus made feel. That feeling: I belonged. And I felt this not only on KU’s campus, but also in Lawrence. After my visit of the campus, we explored downtown and went to the famous Massachusetts Street, known as “Mass Street”. Mass Street is home to five blocks of fun food and great shopping.
As I’ve been a student here at the University of Kansas, Lawrence has become a second home for me.
Making A Home
I have made my own family here at KU with my friends and sorority, despite being so far away from my family. I couldn’t be happier.
Already, KU has brought me some of the best experiences and greatest people into my life.
As you continue your college search, I encourage you not to choose a school simply because your parents went there, or you think that is what they want. Think about the stories you will want to tell about your college experience. Pick the place you will spend your college years not just as the place where you got your degree, but as the place you call home for four years of your life.