My New College Home 2,000 Miles Away

How far would you move to find your new college home?

I moved almost 2,000 miles away from my friends, family, and everything I’d known in the Pacific Northwest and found a new place to call my (college) home at the University of Kansas.

Marvin Hall KU campus

Marvin Hall, University of Kansas. Marvin Hall is home to the School of Architecture, Design, and Planning. – Hallie Holton, photographer



If you’re a junior in high school, then you might find yourself in the same position I was in two years ago. When it came time to choose a college, I had no idea what I wanted in a university or my college experience in general. I applied to schools that were all across the board: big, small, private, public, sports, and no sports.

I didn’t have a clue as to what I wanted for my future as a college student.

With all of this confusion running around in my brain, I decided visiting a college counselor would help clear up all these different ideas I had in my head. Larry Judd, who my mom jokingly calls “Jesus,” helped me navigate through this complicated and nerve-wracking process of determining my future. Larry was good at his job because he asked the important questions: what do you want out of your college experience?

After a few meetings exploring different universities, I had settled on some general criteria to help further my search for my new home. I decided I wanted a school that was located in a small, college town, had a good sports program, great school spirit and tradition, and a journalism school. Larry presented me with a list of five schools in which I would eventually visit during my winter break of my senior.

I went to five schools in five days with my mom.

The other schools I visited aren’t necessarily important for this purpose, but what is important is that I chose the University of Kansas (KU).

I chose KU because the minute I stepped on campus, I felt comfortable. The crimson and blue Jayhawk on my visitor’s guide was smiling at me and I was smiling right back. I was in love with how compact (and beautiful) the campus was. As I looked at all the other students on campus I could see myself there. KU’s campus is home to about 25,000 undergrad students and sits on 1,000 acres in the lovely town of Lawrence, Kansas that is home to about 90,000 unique and quirky individuals.

Now, I’m not going to say that as soon as I set foot on the University of Kansas I knew I was supposed to be there. After my visit, I took into consideration the other schools I had looked at and tried to figure out what it was I liked about each school. After visiting each school, I would make a pros and cons list. Everything from campus size, the visitor guide, the dorms, and the dining halls; I wanted to evaluate all that each school had to offer so that I could make the best decision for myself.

I ended up choosing KU in the end because of how the being on campus made feel. I felt welcome and I felt like I belonged. And I felt this not only on KU’s campus, but also in Lawrence. After my visit of the campus, my mom and I explored downtown and went to the famous, Massachusetts Street, or more popularly known as “Mass Street”. Mass Street is home to five blocks of fun food and great shopping.

As I’ve been a student here at the University of Kanas, Lawrence has become a second home for me.

Despite being so far away from my family, I have made my own family here at KU with my friends and sorority and couldn’t be happier.

Already, KU has brought me some of the best experiences and greatest people into my life.

As you continue your college search, I encourage you not to choose a school simply because your parents went there, or you think that is what they want. Think about the stories you will want to tell about your college experience. Pick the place you will spend your college years not just as the place where you got your degree, but as the place you got to call home for four years of your life.
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Author: Hallie Holton

Hallie is a journalism major at the University of Kansas and an intern at Smart College Visit.

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