To Be Honest… I have learned way too much to be bitter.

Three years ago I began an adventure on which many others were also embarking. Some of us had more of a plan than others, and most of us had no idea what to expect. When I arrived at Jewell for the first time, the leaves were magnificent hues of fall and the grass couldn’t have been cut more precisely. As I toured campus for the first time I was mesmerized by the tall, prestigious-looking buildings and immediately began envisioning myself here. The location made sense; I would be far enough from home to feel like I escaped but could go home when I needed to admit defeat to homesickness. I honestly did not put too much thought into other schools; Jewell made the most sense at the time.

I really did love it here. Freshman year was interesting because nobody had joined Greek life, and it seemed like everyone got along fairly well. When the time came to go through rush, I didn’t expect as many to participate and felt I’d made a mistake when sophomore year came around and I’d become disconnected with my friend group. I was also clueless as to what career I wanted to focus on, so for the first year I had everything from Evolution and Ecology to Visual Design and even Intro to World Politics with Dr. Armstrong. After completing freshman year I decided I needed to try some other options in order to find more of a fit, so I went through rush and joined AGD and tried out business classes as well. It was a whole new experience that changed things around for me. I was excited to have a group of girls to hang out with and just wanted to enjoy the college experience. The business professors were very welcoming and immediately started opening doors and making me aware of the options I had. Everything seemed to be going smoothly, and I was excited for what the future had in store.

During this past summer I faced some complications that would make me reconsider my plans. The details really aren’t important; the point is that I’ve only got myself to blame and I figured out what I needed to in the end. At first I was very bitter with the whole situation; I was happy in these activities and now they were all being taken away.  I was ready to leave ASAP but had no luck finding a school when all I was focused on was getting away. When I realized the energy needed to be focused on what it was I was looking for in myself, everything fell in place. Searching for affordable west coast cities that were known for sustainability, creativity and acceptance led me straight to Portland, Oregon. I had always said I would live in Oregon someday, so it was funny to me that this plan came into action sooner than I’d expected.

As I looked further into Portland State University, it seemed pretty realistic. Most credits would transfer, and I could swing the cost with the help of some scholarships and a strategic plan to apply for residency. When I called my parents to fill them in on this plan, I expected a response that would encourage me to wait it out and reconsider. However, when I finished word-vomiting and relief was expressed because my dad could tell I hadn’t been truly happy, I was baffled and thankful at the same time. He knew that I was trying to do what would make them happy and it was his job as a parent to help me find my passion. They told me this was my life story to write and if Oregon was what I thought needed to happen, they would be supportive. As I recapped the conversation, I realized I had the support and resources to follow my heart, why wouldn’t I? It finally dawned on me that now is the time for these adventures, now is my chance to really make life what I want it to be. It is my time to jump into a new adventure and see what happens.

Of course it was hard to make the official decision but I would not change a thing. I have made a lot of good friends and even though I didn’t always feel like I fit in, I do know there are some really neat people here. I also know that I would’ve gotten lost in someplace as big as Portland State had I tried that right after high school. I needed the perspective Jewell gave me in order to feel ready to hold my own. My adventure is no longer focused on getting out of here; it’s focused on bettering myself, finding my passion and applying that in a beneficial way to others. What will happen next? Who is to say for sure.

Wishing you all nothing but the best in the future,