Cleveland: The City That I Unexpectedly Fell in Love With

I Grew Up In Colorado, Moved My Senior Year, And Found The Place I Truly Loved In Cleveland

I moved from Colorado to Ohio my senior year not expecting much but getting everything in return.

Erika Raulston

So I grew up in Colorado. Yes, that means that the mountains were my primary source of entertainment, and yes that means I spent a lot of time outdoors. However no that does not mean I am a mile "higher" than everyone else, and no it doesn't mean I spend all of my time skiing and snowboarding. I grew up in Colorado, and yes I loved it, but no it wasn't for me.

I moved my senior year — yes that very pivotal year when kids find out where they are spending the next four years of their lives — and it was for the best. I moved out of the state that I called home and loved with a burning passion to a state that was as foreign and as different as a foreign country. Yet I moved. I moved to get away from the drama, from the past, and to move forward — or at least that's what I like to tell myself.

It was a year ago I set sail for the state I now call home: Ohio. It took us 26 hours and one traffic cone to get us to the new place called home. I was apprehensive at first, maybe even a little scared — I mean all I had known was Colorado. Yet as much apprehension as I held there was another thing growing deep within me... excitement. I was ready to face any challenge thrown at me in this new, exciting, and slightly cold state.

I set out on a mission to figure out if this was MY place, the place I was meant to be. I took long drives, and got lost on backroads, and walked around towns that were nowhere close to where I lived. I went with family, to places far and wide all around the state. I went to the beach with my roommates, and I even stood in Lake Erie as the sun set around us. I fell in love with a state I never knew could be so beautiful.

I love it even when it gets scary. I love it, even more, when I wake up at 5 a.m. and go for a run just as the city is rising. This state that for me held nothing more than some of my fondest childhood memories was becoming a state I loved and wanted to hold dear, and close. It was as if the move I feared became the one of my most significant achievements.

I knew that when I got out of high school, this is where I would be staying. I knew that no matter how wanderlust I got that this was always where I would come back. And so it began, my search to find the school that would keep me close to this new home I loved. I took me less time than I thought to find that exact place. I found it in Cleveland and at Cleveland State. In April I was accepted into the school I wanted.

I have spent the past 3 months getting to know more about the city I chose in the state I love. Each day I seem to fall more in love with the city, from walking down Euclid Ave. to get a coffee in Playhouse Square, or just bumbling my way to work. I find the people who I pass always have an exciting story. I find the way the sunrises over the pier in the morning to be like a piece of art. The way the colors drip their way across the lake and start to ascend across the rock and roll hall of fame.

I love the way that there is always something going on downtown, no matter where you are. I love how you can get anywhere on foot, and have no idea where you are going but still get exactly where you want to get.

I moved my senior year, and yes at the time it sucked, but no I do not regret it. I didn't lose anything by moving. In fact, I gained everything I needed, and could ever want. I gained comfort and knowledge in where I was and what I was doing. By moving I found the state where I belong and the city which I love.

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