I’m in my senior year of high school and have started my college search adventures. This summer I planned a trip to Seattle with a few extra stops than usual, I added in college visits! This addition to my agenda transformed my trip more than I could have expected. I had no idea that when I arrived at the airport, I would be leaving as a different person.
I planned three college visits to Seattle Pacific*, Seattle U* and UW*. My brother, who lives in the area, came with me on two of the tours, but had to immediately fly to Denver for work before the third visit. I had to resort to a hastily put together Plan-B for the third college visit that ended up working out. Two of my friends happened to be driving up for the same college tour at Seattle U that I was. It just so happened that they were staying at The Silver Cloud Inn* that is across the street from the Seattle U campus and they had enough room for me to stay with them for the night while my brother was gone. Because my brother was absent, I experienced the tour differently, it helped not having him around because I got to experience the college as I would if I were going there, on my own, without the comforts of my family next to me.
I enjoyed the college very much. At some point in the tour, maybe between the dorm rooms and the rec. center, I had what I believe to be an epiphany. I realized that this trip to Seattle would be one of the most important ones I will ever take. This trip would help me determine if that was where I would want to live. If that were the place where I would make new friends. The place where I would make roots, separate from those established in my hometown of Boise, Idaho. This realization allowed me to look at the city not as a place that I love to visit, but rather as I place that I could potentially live in. I had no idea what I was in store for as far as the changes in the city that I noticed.
Thoughts and questions about the city flowed through my mind. Will I drive while here? Will I enjoy the weather? Would I be safe by myself in a big city? These questions just kept coming and they wouldn’t stop. I got overwhelmed by the prospects of moving out of the little city in Idaho to a booming, urban city nowhere near the familiarity that I’m used to. After almost having a panic attack of worries about moving, I calmed myself down enough to finish the tour.
I made my final decision after our long day of touring. I decided: I love this city and moving here for college is just the kind of change I need to grow up and start getting ready for what teachers and parents commonly call the “real world.” I left the city after an exhausting week of college tours, spending time with family, and enjoying the city, and I came back to Boise with a clear conscious about my future and the choices I made while in Seattle. This trip transformed me in so many more ways than I could have imagined and I’m so thankful that I got the opportunity to make it and hopefully I will make it back soon…for good.
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