I always hated the way city people indirectly referred to the country as “uncivilized.” You know, you hear someone passing through a small town saying, “I can’t wait to get back to civilization.” I can’t help but laugh at that, … Continue reading
As I prepare for my 4th week in my full-time big kid job, and start my 4th week here in Kansas City, I realize I’m behind on chronicling this massive adventure. Two years ago, I never would have believed that … Continue reading
My city slicker friends won’t get this, especially not the ones who are born-and-bred suburbanites or urbanites. And that’s okay; different strokes for different folks. As I prepare to embark on the next chapter of my life, a chapter wrapped in urban life, a one-bedroom apartment downtown, I’m more sentimental than ever about rural life. I’m thrilled for the next step, but I also know that the fond memories I have now of these wide open spaces and familiar places will have to last me a little longer.
I’ve been listening to one song on repeat a lot lately. Usually, I’m in the car with the windows down, the wind whipping my hair, sunglasses on and my left arm (which is now a darker shade of “pale” than my right arm) resting on the edge of the driver side window. And, I’m usually on a wide open road, tar-and-chip or gravel or dirt.
Until I left for college, I had lived in the same house my entire life. It was a modest ranch house on a rural highway in small-town Illinois. Our large back yard butted up against a field, which was either high-oil soybeans or white corn, depending on the year. My hometown was paradise, and I thought that it was the only place on Earth I’d ever want to be.
I had a lot to learn about who I was and where I could end up.
I’ve only ever owned one dog…unless you count that pointer puppy that showed up at our house and hung out for a few hours, until my mom realized that he belonged to some folks down the road. So, excluding that, I’ve only ever owned one dog. I’m a senior in college, and I still look forward to a trip to my parents’ house to see my beloved fuzzball again.
I graduate from college in…eight months. (Yes, I did just take time to count it out on my fingers.) Eight months. The next eight months will fly by, and come graduation day I’ll be crying, wondering where my college years disappeared to and mourning the end of an era. I’ve spent a long time saying that I’m ready to be done with school, and while I am, nostalgia and reality have given me a strong taste of “enjoy-it-while-it-lasts-itis.” I have to balance myself carefully between making the most of the here and now and preparing for the future.
It’s no secret that I hope to find work outside of Illinois. I feel like it’s time for the next big adventure in life. Because of that, I’ve been spending a lot of time researching locations that I’d like to live at or near. I’ll follow the job offers wherever they take me, but it’s also nice to stay educated on where you could end up. Because of that, I’m putting together a checklist of things a college student should consider when looking into new places to reside.
The first time I set foot on North Central College’s campus, I knew that this was the school I was going to attend. I had been to several other schools and had never had the feeling of serendipity. Something about North Central just clicked. It told me I was “home.” I had a gut instinct that I needed to attend this school, and that was that.
Within weeks of moving in, I was horribly homesick and desperately missing my high school sweetheart. I grew up in the middle of cornfields, and downtown Naperville did not feel right. I missed my boyfriend, my childhood friends, my family, and my dog. I longed for big skies, open spaces, bright stars, and sunsets over the fields. Around that time, I shut out North Central. Despite the strong feelings of belonging I’d had during that first visit, NCC just wasn’t where I wanted to be.
My last few posts have been pretty heavy in the serious stuff lately, so I decided it was time to lighten things up a bit. This blog is a somewhat manic blend of somewhat unrelated topics: internships, growing up, careers…and agriculture. So, of course, I have a little party inside of my head every time I can cross those things together. Without further ado, this is Kelly M. Rivard’s __ Signs That You Grew Up in the Country.