by Abby

Why I chose Iowa State

Howdy all!

As I close in on my freshman year,  I thought it would be fitting to share why I decided to experience my college adventure at Iowa State. (A decision that wasn’t a surprise to anyone but myself!)

As I’ve talked about before, Iowa State has always been an important place to my family because so many of my relatives have gone to school here. My grandparents even have the same seats for all of the football games that they’ve had since my grandpa was a student! I remember going to football games and taking pictures with Cy when I was younger, and I remember my mom and my grandpa gave us tours of the College of Design. (Little did I know I would be going to classes there every day!)

Twinning with Cy

Despite the strong presence Iowa State has always had in my life, I honestly didn’t plan on coming here. It seemed so far away from my hometown in Minnesota (driving for three hours feels a LOT longer when you’re younger) and I was interested in such a specific field of study that I wasn’t sure Iowa State would have the right major for me. I was also uncertain if such a big college would be the right fit for me and if I would miss being in a big city.

But then I went on a tour with my mom.

Before we left, I remember my dad said to me “you know you’re going to end up going there after you tour it, right?” I just rolled my eyes at the time, but a few minutes into the tour I pulled out my phone and texted him:

…I really like it here.

Touring Iowa State with my mom

After that tour, everything slowly clicked into place. I was still deciding between a few different colleges, but I kept feeling this strong pull toward Iowa State. The campus was gorgeous and felt like a different world- seeing Friley behind Lake Laverne while drinking coffee at the Memorial Union made me realize I would be okay without a big city. Everyone was so friendly and even though I knew there were more than 30,000 students on campus it never felt crowded or overwhelming in the slightest. Plus, I loved that the campus was big enough to explore while being small enough that getting from place to place felt effortless.

I met with an academic adviser in the College of Design and learned about an incredibly unique program called Interdisciplinary Design that would allow me to choose design studios and classes outside of design that would perfectly fit what I wanted to study. It was unlike anything any other college offered. (For more information on Interdisciplinary Design, see my previous post).

And the food. No other college food compared to eating a burrito bowl, giant salad, french fries and an ice cream sundae at Seasons. There were so many clubs and opportunities on campus and so many coffee shops and places to adventure to.  With Des Moines being only a short drive from Ames, Iowa State was clearly the right fit for me even though I wasn’t quite ready to admit it.

…Until I met Rachel. We connected on Facebook because we were both looking for a roommate and discovered we had a lot of similar interests- like design, theater, and iced coffee. Oh, and of course our Minnesota roots! Knowing I would have an awesome roommate really made me realize Iowa State was going to be the place for me.

Our moms unintentionally bought us matching shirts…

I had no idea how much I was going to love Iowa State and the people I’d meet here and I had no idea there would be so many opportunities and challenges. As I reflect back on my first year at my favorite place, there is nowhere else I can imagine going to college. But, that first-year reflection is a post for another day. 😉

Sometimes the college decision process seems extremely stressful, but I learned that everything will work itself out in the end. The best advice I’ve been given is to look at all of the options you’re going between and then just go and take a walk. The place you want to be will become clear… And I hope it leads you here!

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