Wednesday, May 18, 2022
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College Daze

Only three semesters in to college, but I have already been to three different colleges.

I graduated from Leeton High School in May of 2010. My first semester after high school, I moved 100 miles south and went to Missouri State University (MSU) in Springfield. It was a great school with tons of campus events that were always widely advertised.

The campus and community were very accepting of everyone and their crazy quirks, and it seemed that every culture, background and lifestyle was accounted for. Although the official demographic report will probably reflect differently, it seemed there was a large population of students who came from outside the United States. It really felt that everyone I met was from a foreign country.

I originally chose MSU so I could study musical theater, but after some deliberating, I decided to choose a more viable path and started studying journalism.

My parents had also made a move after I graduated high school, but it was 65 miles in the opposite direction to Kansas City. Your first year in college is hard enough, but moving so far away from your parents and not knowing anyone else on campus makes things even harder.

After a semester away from my family, I was homesick and was ready to move closer to them. I transferred to University of Central Missouri (UCM) in Warrensburg, which was somewhere in-between the friends I had grown up with and my family, so I had plenty of people close by that I could visit often.

UCM was also a good school, but there were very few campus events and they weren’t well advertised, so I never knew about them until after I heard someone in class talking about it. Also, the majority of the students weren’t very accepting of people who were different than them; it was much like high school with its cliques. I definitely thought I wasn’t ever going to have to deal with them after high school.

Still, I was feeling bored and alone. For those reasons, along with some breakup issues, I moved in with my parents and transferred to UMKC, only a 20-minute drive from home.

I found it particularly hard to get involved in campus, being a commuter. The level of activity on campus, in my opinion, falls somewhere in the middle between my two previous colleges, but I have experienced that most of the events either occur while I’m in class, or after I’ve left the campus.

The diversity of the UMKC campus and population also fall somewhere in the middle, not quite as diverse or accepting as MSU, but nowhere near as close-minded as UCM.

My favorite thing about the campus is the Swinney Rec Center, although after many self-promises, I still haven’t managed to test the pool. I also like the food on campus, especially Chick-fil-a and Einstein Brothers, but it’s missing the Taco Bell that UCM had.

My favorite university was MSU. I loved the atmosphere and the acceptance. UMKC is a great place too though, and I am glad that it’s close to my family. I think it will be much better this semester compared to last, now that I am involved in something.

khart@unews.com

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