Iowa State through the eyes of an out-of-state student

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Hy-Vee, scotcharoos, agricultural life sciences. No these are not the responses to a Mad Lib, but rather terms I’ve learned since moving to and attending Iowa State University as an “out-of-stater.”

Now it’s my turn: Jewel, Portillos, lake-effect snow. I am talking about the Chicago suburbs, where I call home, though my time at Iowa State is changing that perception.  But what makes non-Iowans pick a school in the arguably dead center of the U.S.? While I cannot speak for everyone, I have a feeling others share some of the same sentiments I did when making the drive to visit Iowa State.

First off, the campus. When taking a tour my junior year of high school it was a blistering sub-zero day, yet I could imagine chilling out on central campus in warmer weather (which I since have often) or hanging out on the steps of Catt Hall taking in the view. How can you beat the fact that Iowa State, according to this article, is number five on a list of the most beautiful college campuses in the world, just below Stanford. Yeah, number five in the world is my daily walk to class.

Second, the way the people at the Liberal Arts and Sciences College made me feel during my visit.  As an open option student I was not searching for a specific program and would often tell tour guides that I simply did not know what area to focus in.  Iowa State was the first school that not only embraced, but celebrated the “exploring my options” status.  I think my parents looked incredulously at our session leader-Dan Rice-like he was crazy for encouraging me to attend college without actually knowing why I was attending college.  I on the other hand finally felt wanted. My open option status did not hinder or label me.

Finally, and this is the most important one, I had that feeeeeeeling.  Like what people say you are supposed to have when you find the perfect wedding dress, or get behind the wheel of your dream car. What I tell prospective students in their visits is how you not only have to attend classes here, but you have to live here for the next four years.  That means making new friends, living on your own in dorms and apartments, and embracing the culture of new surroundings.

I chose Iowa State University because I realized my walk to class would put a smile on my face every day. My decision was made when the ISU faculty made me feel confident and appreciated my open option status.  Most importantly, I chose to be a Cyclone because I could see myself making memories here for the next four years. Iowa State is my new home away from home, and I have absolutely no regrets.

Posted by: Nicole Suchsland