I have always been told that graduation is the single most important day of your college career. I would have to disagree. Besides that first whirl winded day you walked onto campus, Bid Day, and the day you realized you actually chose the right major; I would have to say that the most important day of your college career is that day you were hired for your first big girl job, or received your graduate school acceptance letter, and finally decided where you’re going to be living for the next few years.
Unfortunate for me, this decision was made in December of my sophomore year when I accepted a scholarship. Now this scholarship came with stipulations, the University of Kentucky would pay for my education as long as I paid them back with my working time. This trade sounds great when all of your best friends plan on staying in your college town, but unfortunately that isn’t exactly how it works. As a registered nurse there are an abundance of jobs all over the United States; however, for my friends who were marketing, accounting, finance, humanities, Bio-Chem, and Russian literature majors finding jobs in our college town wasn’t easy. At first I thought I was lucky, I got to stay in my comfort zone in the incredible college town that is Lexington, Kentucky, but I quickly realized my friends who were taken away are the lucky ones.
My biggest advice about deciding where to live once you graduate is: MOVE AWAY FROM YOUR COLLEGE TOWN! Here’s why:
- The girls who moved to Charlotte, Rochester, Little Rock, Nashville, Los Angeles, and Orlando got to start a new, terrifying, exciting, thrilling adventure on their own. And here I am stuck going to the same grocery store, living in the same apartment, running the same trails every single day.
- You think you’ll still have your little or your grandlittle to go on weekly dates with; however, this is WRONG. Between classes, work schedules, exams, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, weddings, baby showers, family reunions, sisterhood retreats, formals, and the occasional strep throat you’ll barely have time to even plan out a Starbucks date.
- It is super awkward to attend tailgates and have new members ask if you’re a freshman. “NO I’m 23 and working on my master’s….I just really like football.”
- That guy you dated freshman year who worked at Jimmy John’s… Yeah, he still works there and you have to avoid that place FOREVER.
- Those memories of Ms. Bird’s virgin margaritas on Cinco de Mayo, that day you set up a kiddie pool on the back patio, and of course Mexican food on Thursdays need to be separate from your “adult life” memories.
- My parents speak of Athens, Georgia like it is the Mayan city of gold. To them it is a holy place of Herschel Walker, Uga the loveable mascot, and all things red and black. To me Lexington is becoming a city of hospital smell, paychecks, and paying bills…
Now don’t get me wrong. I bleed blue; I am and will always be a Kentucky Wildcat, but I wish I could go back and take my own advice and feel the rush of not knowing where the best grocery stores are, having a brand new apartment to decorate, and finding new running trails. My contract is up in April, and I’m ready to look back on my time in Lexington and remember the National Championships, how perfect campus is in autumn, and most importantly my home away from home: the chapter house. Take my advice: go out, find adventure, be a little scared, move on, and keep your college town your college town.
Special thanks to Transitions contributor Brontë E. Craig, RN-BSN –
Brontë is originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee and moved to Lexington, Kentucky in 2010 to attend the University of Kentucky. She joined the Iota Nu chapter where she became Director of Homecoming in 2012 and Director of Community Service in 2013. After graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from UK in 2014, she began working as a critical care nurse with UK Healthcare. She has accepted a position as a registered nurse with the Clinical Resource Team at Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga, TN where she plans to continue her career until she graduates with her Masters of Science in Nursing in 2018.