I didn”t like the University of Idaho at first.
I was born and raised in Idaho and have felt the need to branch out from my home state since I was in high school.
That is why I chose to go to Colorado State University for my freshman year of college. I made some amazing friends that year and did well academically, but something wasn”t quite right.
The ridiculous amount of money I was spending on out-of-state tuition constantly haunted me during my time at CSU.
Last summer, my parents tried to convince me to transfer to UI, but I complained about how I didn”t want to be in the same state for the rest of my life.
I thought UI was too small of a school and too isolated to be an adequate learning institution.
What can I say? Everyone is a little ignorant every now and then.
Eventually, my parents brought me to my senses, and I was enrolled at UI by mid-July, which was cutting it a little close.
I didn”t like UI, but then I drove up to Moscow and saw the campus. I joined a sorority. I took up a position as a reporter at The Argonaut. I met tons of incredible people. I strolled down the streets of downtown Moscow.
Suddenly, I found myself loving the city of Moscow and the UI campus. CSU was an amazing experience, but there are definitely some benefits here that Colorado lacks.
I never played a significant role in my community at CSU. I only ever went to class and hung out with friends. I wasn”t an active member in any clubs or organizations. At UI, students receive an overwhelming amount of encouragement to participate in community events and groups.
Also, UI”s campus is smaller than CSU”s, which is something I thought I wouldn”t like. However, seeing friendly faces I recognize on my way to classes is valuable when I”m having a bad day.
I also underestimated how much I would enjoy being closer to home. When I graduated high school, I made it my mission to get as far from home as possible because I worried I would be stuck in my home state my entire life.
This is likely a mentality I developed over years of living in a small town of only 459 people. I witnessed the same thing happen to many of my fellow classmates through time.
However, the six-hour drive between Moscow and my hometown has allowed me to maintain my independence from home.
I”m not saying that one university is better than the other, because they are both incredible institutions.
CSU is a neat school. The area is both diverse and sustainable. I felt like the majority of campus was environmentally conscious and most students were often active recyclers.
The campus also had a lot more recycling opportunities and it even had an entire week dedicated to sustainability called Earth Week.
But CSU also received a lot more money, since its student population is almost double that of UI, so the extra spending in these areas doesn”t come as much of a surprise to me.
Even though I was determined to escape Idaho, I am here willingly, and happily – and I will remain here for the next couple of years.
I didn”t like the University of Idaho at first, but I also didn”t like the Star Wars movies when I first saw them. Everyone makes mistakes.
Jessica Gee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @jaycgeek