Alone At Last

For the first time in my life, I am in a brand new place with absolutely no roommates. Hurray! No crusty dishes with the petrified remnants of last week’s tomato soup mounting in the kitchen sink. No more awkward evening debates about who’s turn it is to buy groceries. No mystery hair carpeting the bathroom floor. My apartment is just the way I like it. Almost.

I am also coming to realize an undeniable truth in this lovely new living space that is all mine. Friends don’t come knocking on your door until you meet them. Of course, I have always known this but until very recently, they always seemed to come with the apartment. The only solution is to do something incredibly uncomfortable that will inevitably end up being the highlight of your day. Get dressed, not in the ratty jeans that look like they were mauled by a grizzly bear. Put on something nice. Go outside and meet people.

Opportunities to do this are built into nearly every college experience. There is a club for everything and you are constantly surrounded by people your own age who generally think and act like you do. Such opportunities don’t disappear after graduation but they become much more shy in presenting themselves. Therefore, stop staring at the same four walls, or however many you have in your home, and go talk to the new and interesting characters that are living their lives just outside your door.


Hi! Welcome to Valpo

Growing up in western Colorado it was easy to fall in love with the roaring rivers that ran cold and clear all year round and the stony mountain peaks that obstructed the horizon of the deep blue sky; things that simply aren’t the same anywhere else. Summers were spent traversing those peaks and seeking out hidden mountain lakes replenished by months of snowfall. I come from a family of happy hikers. Family vacations typically involved a trailer, a campfire and several treks out into the pine covered wilderness.

Needless to say, Valparaiso, Indiana was one of the last places I thought I’d be when I graduated from Colorado School of Mines. However, with the engineering degree came an offer to put it to use in the steel industry and it was too good to pass up. Ever since relocating to Valparaiso I’ve been hearing “Hi! Welcome to Valpo.” From Pete who sold me my new mattress to Angie at the shooting range, everyone is so excited to help this newcomer find the best places in town, recommending their favorite burger places and supplying me with brochures of things to do on a rainy day. It rains a lot here.

Although my beloved mountains are far away, I’m excited to start fresh in this place where everything is new and unknown. It’s huge and terrifying but in this place I feel like I can spread my wings and learn to fly.