Goodbye Hillsdale, hello Minnesota.
Hi! I haven’t seen you in a coon’s age.
Or something like that.
Goodness, it feels so good to be sitting here writing again. July was filled to the brim with trips and plans and oh yeah, my brother is getting married next week! The summer is cruising by and I am excited to see it go.
Hmm, that’s not typical for a college kid, you may be thinking. And while that may be true, I have some very exciting (yet bittersweet) news to share with y’all about my upcoming plans.
Yep, you read it right: I am transferring schools.
A year ago today, I had everything ready for college: my bags were packed, my car’s tank was full, my roommate and I were ecstatic to see one another, and my heart was ready to go. I needed a change of scenery, I needed to be independent, and above all, I needed to leave high school behind.
And I did! I accomplished this and more my first year of college. I made friends, published my blog, and passed with (mostly) A’s.
Hillsdale really took care of me, too. My senior friend, Shelbs, stood right by my side every step of my journey, always there bearing tea and advice. The professors were more than willing to help me study when I needed it (and boy, did I need it). The admissions office even hooked me up with a part time job. I felt like I finally found where I belonged.
After first semester ended, I realized something major was missing from my experience, though. Even though I thought I wanted a small, Conservative school when I applied as a senior in high school, I didn’t know that I would get a little too used to the same walk from my dorm to the dining hall. I didn’t know that I would desire a little more diversity in political views.
And I definitely didn’t know I wanted to pursue fashion as a career.
As I grew up, fashion was my hobby. I loved it, but I didn’t actually think I could do it as a job. I didn’t know anybody who worked in the fashion industry and I never felt like it was my calling, you could say.
After I published my blog last October, however, that all changed. I realized how much I adore fashion and styling, and that I want to pursue it long term.
Well, Hillsdale College, located in rural Michigan, is not the best place to go if you’re interested in working in the fashion industry.
So then my momma came to town.
I didn’t know I wanted to transfer. I actually knew I didn’t want to transfer, even though I knew I wanted to go into the industry. My grades were fine, I knew where everything was and who everyone was; I felt comfortable.
But then things stopped working. I started feeling anxious often because I felt like I wasn’t where I belonged. I felt like, though I knew some pretty wonderful people, I wasn’t completely understood.
I needed a city. I am such a city girl, being from Milwaukee and adoring Chicago. The skylines, the hustle and bustle, the fashion…it all calls my name. But, again, I thought I would just end up in a city. After I finished my 4 years at Hillsdale.
That’s where my mom comes in. She came to visit me one weekend in March, before spring break. She knew I wasn’t doing so hot, and she wanted to make sure I was okay, and give me some encouragement to get through the semester.
As we were in the dinky Days Inn at Hillsdale talking, she looked at me and said, “Maria. Why don’t you transfer somewhere where you can pursue what you love?”
“No, I’m serious.”
She asked me what I want to do. Be a stylist and live in a city. She researched what degree I need to get in order to achieve that: Retail Merchandising. She then researched the best Retail Merch programs in the nation.
#1 FIT, New York. No, no, no, too far away (Mom said).
#4 Auburn University, Alabama. No, I am not going to Alabama (I said).
#8: University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Hold up.
Cue the light bulbs and the chimes.
- My best friend, Jen, goes there.
- It’s in a city. A big city.
- Wisconsin and Minnesota have a reciprocity agreement, so I can get instate tuition.
Bingo. I’m sold.
A bittersweet goodbye.
It really is bittersweet. Though, as you can see in the pictures above, I am so excited to go and start a new chapter, it’s sad. My first year of college was memorable in so many ways. I met some lovely people and I am so grateful for everything Hillsdale did for me.
I also know myself and that it’s time for a change. Sometimes good things come out of unexpected places. I did not know I was going to transfer, but my mom did! Mothers know best, I guess.
To all of my Hillsdale friends, thank you for the memories and I wish you the absolute best. Hopefully we’ll see each other again soon. 🙂
And that’s my news! 2017 has been a year of so many changes, and it’s not even over yet.
Thank you for reading. Have a beautiful rest of your Wednesday.