Why I'm Grateful I Chose A College Where I Knew No One
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Why I'm Grateful I Chose A College Where I Knew No One

Scary? Yes. Worth it? Every second of every day.

Why I'm Grateful I Chose A College Where I Knew No One
Ben Wiseman

When I chose to go to a school where I knew no one, I accepted some challenges I didn't know I was facing until I arrived. Although starting over was what I hoped to accomplish by going to a place where every face was new and a unique opportunity was behind every door, I could not have adequately expected the ways this college would change my life. Embracing a new life 4.5 hours away from home was difficult and though I had my doubts in the nights preceding move-in day, I know now that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

It is important to get out of your comfort zone. And oh, did I! The in-state students here at KU, and at any state school, have a bit of an advantage when it comes to networking. I had no such advantage. I had to get out of my comfort zone to ask questions when I wasn't sure how the bus system worked. I had to email clubs and organizations to find out how I could join or volunteer. I had to introduce myself and be friendly, even when I just wasn't in the mood. I am so glad I was put in all of these somewhat uncomfortable situations, because I would have never learned how the buses work, gone on an Alternative Break or talked to the cute guy that sat behind me in math class.

You will learn so much more when you are open-minded. Being closed-minded will not benefit you in any way, shape or form, especially when you are surrounded by 28,000 strangers with hundreds of different races, ethnicities, cultures and personalities. I could not believe how subconsciously closed-minded I had been, until I attended a seminar by Dr. Blane Harding, where he revealed that even when we think we are open minded, we all have subconscious prejudices, and trying to avoid these prejudices requires continual effort.

Never say no. "Want to watch a movie in our room?" Yes. "Want to get some ice cream?" Heck yes. "Want to go for a run?" No, but I'm going to anyways. When driving back from winter break with my roommate she mentioned a quirky New Year's resolution of hers, to not say “no" to anything for a month. Much more than a resolution, this should be a lifestyle. By never turning down an opportunity, I have made so many more friends, acquaintances, and connections than I would have had I stayed in my own personal bubble. I also have my friends to thank for that night I didn't want to go out, but did anyways, and it ended up being a blast.

You are your own person, and no one can take that from you. While meeting new, amazing friends has been such a blessing, I always remind myself to be grateful for what I have been through and how it has shaped me as a person. My university and the opportunities it has provided me are all to thank for the person I want to and will become. But it's important to recognize that my life prior to college set me up for the way I've handled living in a place where I once knew no one. I see little pieces of all of my friends and sorority sisters in the person I am, but I know that a piece of me exists in them somewhere, too. I have learned to be independent and enjoy spending time alone. I have learned not to lean too much on others, but trust that they are there for when I need them.

For all of these things, plus many more, I can give thanks and credit to my choice to go to a school where I knew know one.

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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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