Traveling to five different countries and living in one is something many people consider a dream.
Three years ago, Selena Alexandropoulos lived that dream and was able to call Germany her home for one year after spending the past 16 years of her life in Sitka, Alaska.
Waking up to a water view was one of the only things that made life in Sitka tolerable for Alexandropoulos, while her friends lived in different cities and her family lived even further.
After Alaska, South Carolina called her name until she finally found her forever home in Moscow.
Now 19-years-old, Alexandropoulos said she had always dreamed of going to the University of Idaho.
“I wanted to be closer to my family,” Alexandropoulos said.
Her father, Kosta Alexandropoulos, originally from Greece, resides in Moscow and owns a restaurant downtown, Mad Greek, which serves mainly Greek food.
“It’s nice having her back in the same town as me and even working alongside me,” Kosta said.
Alexandropoulos graduated from Moscow High School and said she is happy in choosing Moscow as her home for college — not just because it financially suited her the best, but because she wanted to call college her home too.
“Seeing so many places and living in a country where the culture is so different has really made me appreciate how little the town of Moscow is,” Alexandropoulos said.
When living in Germany, Alexandropoulos said she felt like an outsider because no one was welcoming — foreign students were to be separated into different classrooms, away from those who were actually German.
Italy, Greece, Switzerland and Austria are the four other countries that Alexandropoulos has traveled to. She said Greece was the only country she connected with because she was able to be a more cultured person and gain a better understanding for the world. Working at her father’s restaurant has been one of the best things that has happened to Alexandropoulos. She said it gives her the opportunity to connect more with the people of her community and to make the regulars feel like they are at home.
“I’ve never lived in a town where everyone is so friendly,” Alexandropoulos said, “Moscow is my family.”
As a freshman, Alexandropoulos had to make the decision of whether or not to attend recruitment for Greek life at UI.
“Greek life was a big part of why I chose to be a part of the Vandal family. I knew a lot of people who were already in houses,” Alexandropoulos said. “I wanted to go into college with a solid group of people that I could hang out with all the time.”
Going Greek can be a prime example of what family at college is like. A “big” is classified as someone’s big brother or sister and a “little” is classified as someone’s little brother or sister.
Kendal Stopher, a member of Alpha Pi, said Selena is outgoing, beautiful and always smiling, and the house is proud to have her as a member of their Greek family.
Alexandropoulos said if she could change one thing about the system, it would be to make it more exclusive and to involve more students who aren’t in the Greek system.
Another decision a freshman in college must make is choosing a major. For Alexandropoulos, psychology has always been her favorite subject to study.
She said seeing a friend being hypnotized was one of the many ways she got involved in a field that establishes the way our mind works.
“The way our mind works and the different behaviors that make us who we are is what keeps me intrigued,” Alexandropoulos said. “I want to work in psychiatric care units after college and do my best at making a difference.”
Growing up with a step mother who now works at Moscow Family Medicine can really influence a decision in the medical field, she said.
Although family medicine and psychology are two very different fields, they share one important thing — caring for others.
Family is everything to Alexandropoulos and traveling around the world made her realize home isn’t just a big city.
“Moscow will always have a special place in my heart,” Alexandropoulos said. “Although I may not live here for the rest of my life, this town has made me who I am and that is something I will hold onto forever.”
Mica Boyd-Cleaver can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org