Same place, new perspective

By MEGAN MAHARRY, Staff Writer

A year ago, I never would have pictured myself where I am today. I had pictured myself hundreds of miles from Alva, surrounded by an entire new environment.

However, at the end of my senior year of high school last year, I made a decision that surprised myself—I chose to attend Northwestern and remain in Alva.

There were two factors that ultimately swayed me to choosing Northwestern: a place on the Lady Ranger’s soccer team and the mass communication department.

Whenever I was offered the opportunity to become part of the soccer team, I looked into academics at Northwestern. I was almost certain in the beginning I wanted to do something with mass communication, especially anything that had to do with writing.

After talking with a mass communication professor and touring the department, I was convinced this is where I wanted to be. And, of course, wanting to continue my soccer career carried most the of the weight of my decision.

When I first began class and soccer in the fall, I had my doubts. Soccer was hard, time-consuming and the largest commitment I had ever made. I was also settling in with an entire new group of girls, and trying to learn my place on the team.

There were times I questioned whether or not I had made the right decision. For a while, I was not sure if Northwestern was where I was meant to stay.

However, I began developing a rhythm with going to classes and soccer practices. After a while, it became easy to settle in. I met new people in my classes, I became good friends with my roommate and my other teammates and I became a better soccer player.

As my freshman year is almost over, I realize how right my decision a year ago had been.

I grew up in Alva, but as a college student at Northwestern, I see a whole new side of Alva that I did not know existed. I am involved in different activities and people around campus, who do not know who I am or about my previous times in Alva.

Being exposed to a whole new group of people has helped me grow as a person, and also make several new friends. Everything about Northwestern is different for me, even though the town is nothing new.

I have had people ask me if staying in Alva has limited me or is the same as I have known all my life. I can honestly no, the town may not have changed, but my perspective has been completely altered.

In the best way, of course.