Homesick to Home Sweet Home

          If someone asked you what the scariest moment of your life was what would you say? If you asked me, I would tell you it was my first night here at K-State. My parents had just dropped me off and, knowing they and everyone else I knew would be two thousand miles away in New Jersey, I admittedly cried myself to sleep.

          I’ve come a long way since that night. In the two years that I’ve been privileged enough to attend Kansas State University, I’ve made so many amazing memories, made lifelong friends, and grown tremendously both as a student and as an individual. K-State has opened so many doors for me that I know I wouldn’t have had if I went to an in-state school. I’ve been able to work doing research on the PRRS virus, work with many different farm animals such as swine, dairy cows, and chickens, and joined Sigma Alpha, a professional agriculture sorority that connects me with so many talented and passionate women. I’ve learned how to show cows and even how to judge wool! One of my fondest memories is when I went home, drove to our state fair, and screamed, “Oh my gosh I know how to judge those fleeces” and had my urban-living friends look at me like I was crazy. The other was walking my dairy cow on Call Hall lawn during the Little American Royal. My cow, which I affectionately named Kisses, was just walking on a lead like a dog! I thought it was the coolest thing ever and so did my friends and family back home.

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          Coming to Kansas from New Jersey was definitely a culture shock. I was the girl in flip flops and dresses at the agriculture watermelon feed and everyone else had jeans and boots on. I’ve become quite adjusted in my opinion. I absolutely love country music now (I couldn’t stand it until about 2 weeks before I came to KSU), I own TWO pairs of cowgirl boots, and I learned that you can’t go 60mph down a gravel road without risking damage to your car. But all stereotypes aside, I’ve learned to be a calmer, more laid back person. There is such a difference between here and New Jersey with how people act towards each other. Kansas actually stop to talk for awhile and they won’t try to run you off the road! People here really care about one another and many times I’ve seen this community band together to help others in need. I’m not saying this doesn’t happen in New Jersey, but it’s a lot more common out here in the heartland.

          Of course there are things I miss about the good ol’ state of New Jersey. I can’t enjoy pizza here (not even AJ’s “New York” pizza), and I miss the beach more than I can even describe. But what I miss the most are my family and friends back home. The times that I really miss home are during breaks and especially parents day. It’s hard being so close with your family and only being able to see them twice a year for only a few short weeks. Even so, the friends that I’ve made and the life that I’ve built here make it so that I’m never really alone. Even through the hard times, I know that choosing to come to this University was the best decision I have ever made and will propel me into greater things both now and after I graduate.

 

In Sisterhood,

Stephanie Martin

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