One of the questions people ask me when they find out I go to a community college down the street from where I grew up is, “Why?” Another question they ask is “Don’t you want to see something else?”
I was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin. I’ve been living in the same red brick house with a green roof since the day I popped out the womb. My bedroom has been the same color since I was fourteen. I can point to any house on my block and tell you who lives in it.
Living in Madison, my friends and I grew up hearing about just how great “the UW” is. I grew up on University of Wisconsin-Madison’s campus. If someone says “UW”, they’re talking about Madison. For eighteen years, everyone has been telling me how it’s a “world-renowned university.” And when I was six, I wanted to go there.
I’m eighteen now. I have no desire whatsoever to go to Madison. Loads of people from my high school chose to go to Madison. Hell, my brother is going to Madison next year once he transfers out of the same community college I’m at. That’s great, good for them! That’s not what I want to do.
Now, I’m assuming if you’re related to me and reading this, you’re going to say, “Oh, but it’s such a great school!” That may be true. However, it’s not a great school for me.
For someone with anxiety, and for someone who can’t stay away from home for very long, you may be questioning why I’m choosing to leave my boring ol’ hometown for a “small” town up north when the time comes for me to transfer out of my community college. The answer is, simply, I’m sick of this town.
I’ve done everything there is to do in Madison a thousand times over. Going to Vitense gets boring after a while. Staring up at the Capitol rotunda is fun for about five seconds. State Street bores the hell out of me. Camp Randall is cool, I guess. I need to see something else.
Now, you’re probably reading this thinking “Well, if it’s so boring in Madison, why haven’t you left yet?” I’m getting to that.
I chose community college. I could have left town, split to go to some university in the middle of God-Knows-Where, Wisconsin, but I stayed. I stayed because, having turned 18 just a month before I graduated high school, I wanted to go, but I wasn’t ready.
I wasn’t in a place where I felt comfortable leaving home straight after high school. I didn’t want to have to throw myself into living three and a half hours away in a town where, as of now, the only person I know is my grandma. I wasn’t ready to leave home yet.
I also have no fricken idea what I want to do with my life. I wasn’t about to go to some university, stay a year, figure out what I want to do, and then realize that the school I had chosen didn’t have my major, and I’d have to transfer. I wasn’t going to blow through $20,000 a year to do something I could do for $2,000. And no, I still don’t know what I’m doing. Stop asking.
There are a thousand reasons why I want to go, and there are a thousand reasons why I stayed. I don’t have to leave yet-I’m only 18, why do I need to up and leave right now? I don’t have to transfer until the end of next year if I don’t want to. When the time comes, I’ll make the move up to Eau Claire. Until then, I’m going to be laying in my mom’s bed, watching Netflix and cuddling with my dogs.
Peace out, squadlings.
****This post is not meant to slam UW-Madison. I know it’s a great school, but it’s not for me. Shout out to the Badgers, though.****