What it's Like To Be a UTK Student Born and Raised in Knoxville
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What it's Like To Be a UTK Student Born and Raised in Knoxville

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What it's Like To Be a UTK Student Born and Raised in Knoxville
Susie Detiveaux

As a resident Knoxvillian and also a student at the University of Tennessee, I'm often asked what it's like growing up 20 minutes away from an SEC school. I usually shrug and answer with a simple "there's good and bad," and try not to go into detail about why I love being from the same city I go to college in.

I was never the kid in school who wanted to go to UTK. I hated everything about the Vols well up until my freshman year of high school. I was determined to get away for college and be far away from my family. It wasn't that I wanted to get away from them, but I wanted to learn independence and I thought the only way to do that was by moving more than 3 hours away. However, when it came down to choosing my school I knew that UT was my home and that staying in Knoxville was the right move both academically and financially. Over the past couple months here on campus I can absolutely say that I love everything about my school, (except parking) including the distance it is from home.

The house I grew up in is only 20 minutes away from UTK's campus and I'm not ashamed to say that I go home once or twice a week. Now I know most college students scoff at the idea of being home that much, but in my opinion it is so worth it. Whenever you get sick of PCB food, you're feeling badly or you just want to see your dog, home is only a short drive away. For as often as I get tired of adulting or just really need to switch out some of my clothes, I cannot even imagine what my life would be like if I were farther from home.

UT has become my home though. It's not hard to separate yourself from the suburban life that goes outside of downtown and feel like you're in your own little bubble. Most of the time, I forget that I'm so close to my house because campus feels like such a different planet, at least until I see familiar faces.

About 200 kids from my graduating class attended UTK, not to mention the 150+ that graduated the year before me, the give or take 100 I know from surrounding schools, the kids I live with in the dorms, and my 180 sorority sisters. I was basically able to walk into the first day of college knowing almost 600 people. That is ridiculous for a school of around 35,000 students. I'm completely unable to walk down Pedestrian Walkway without seeing at least 5 people that I recognize. Heck, there are kids in my classes that I have been friends with since the 6th grade.

Being from the same city you go to college in definitely gives you more flexibility in that you can drop by your house whenever you need to and you will always know someone in your classes. It turns what could be an incredibly uncomfortable and overwhelming environment into one that is natural and familiar. I wouldn't have it any other way.


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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