The first question people ask me when I say I’m from New Jersey is, “what made you want to come to Iowa?” Initially, I wasn’t expecting to be asked that same question over and over again, but I’ve gotten very used to the same song and dance I do every time. Nevertheless, I’m never any less enthusiastic to explain what drew me to Iowa City, the place I will call home for the next four years.
With commitment season upon us, I thought I would take the time to write about some of the things I love about the University of Iowa, and also what helped me make the decision to come here about two years ago.
A New Chapter
I am, without a doubt, a homebody. I love my family, being around them, and it would’ve been really easy for me to go to school close to home. Many of my friends here made the decision to stay close to home as many of them are from Iowa and Illinois, and that is great! For me, I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone, and go somewhere where no one in my family has gone before, but also somewhere further away from where I live. While it has been a little bit of a pain in terms of flights and 16-hour road trips, it’s been worth it for me to see a new, and independent, side of myself. Something I didn’t know I had before!
Ain’t No Nice like Iowa Nice
Upon arriving in Iowa to tour, the first thing I noticed was how down-to-earth everyone was. Everyone I came across was so welcoming and eager to help. I knew these were the types of people I wanted to surround myself with because you could genuinely see how everyone around you wants you to succeed. With nearly a whole year under my belt, I can confidently say that atmosphere hasn’t changed. I’ve been able to meet so many great people simply because people were so kind and open to making more connections within and beyond the communities created on campus. It’s been easy calling this place home because of that!
The Best College Town in the US
I know I sound like a broken record, but something that really drew me to campus was the campus and the downtown area itself. Everything is walkable, beautiful, and so special to me. Downtown is always buzzing, and when the weather allows, people are usually outside doing homework and spending time with friends. Everyone who I’ve brought here has commented about how great the campus is. I’m always eager to show off the University to my visitors. If you’re interested in reading more about some of my favorite places downtown, click here!
The most important thing to me when looking at schools was team pride. I went to a really small high school and didn’t get to experience many sporting events or pride in saying where I went to school; it just wasn’t the norm. Here, however, I can say, without a doubt, that I’ve never been to a college campus with so much pride. I’m a huge sports fan, so some of my favorite memories have been at football or basketball games. I always say, no matter where you are, you can find a Hawkeye. From the football stadium to the airport to the local grocery store, you’ll find Herky, black and gold, and Hawkeye pride everywhere!
This list doesn’t even scratch the surface of things I love about going to school here. I could go on forever. That being said, many people still don’t understand why I chose Iowa, and that’s okay. I remember feeling nervous about announcing my commitment because no one from my high school had ever gone here, and everyone strived for an Ivy League school. There is nothing wrong with that! However, looking back, I wish I wore my Hawkeye pride proudly so much earlier. At the end of the day, it’s not about where those around you want to go, it’s about where you feel most at home and where you can see yourself thriving. For me, that was Iowa, and I haven’t regretted my decision once. Hopefully, you can see yourself here, too, future Hawkeye!
As always, go hawks!