Hometown Living

Hello Joyflakes!

Long time no chat. I've been massively busy with classes and grad school applications and as always, this little blog has taken a back seat. But, I've had this post sitting in my drafts for a while and I feel like it's finally time I finish it up.

When I was 3 years old, my mom got a job at the University of Iowa as an education professor and we packed up our minivan and moved across the country from Tucson, AZ to Iowa City, IA. With the exception of 6 months in 5th grade, and my 3 years in Ames, I've been in Iowa City ever since. It's a great town full of amazingly brilliant people and a surprising amount of things to do each weekend. There's a ped mall full of shops and restaurants and shops and with each change of season, the city changes too. In the summer, it's full of laughing children and street festivals. In the fall, it's football and college students celebrating their newfound freedom. Winter brings a blanket of white snow, fairy lights, and sweaters on the trees. And each spring, you can practically feel the promise of bright futures as students celebrate graduation.

But as much as I love this little city, I'm often reminded of the fact that I've been her for over 20 years.  I walk past my mom's old office on my way to work and class every day. I know exactly where to drive or walk when so that I don't have to awkwardly not make eye contact with the "spare change" rasta or deal with students jumping in front me as they rush from building to building. I know where to park for free no matter what time of day it is. I know when to avoid the ped mall and when the people watching is the best. I recognize store owners and I know which servers and bartenders will give me honest opinions about dinner and drink specials. Long story short, I know this city like the back of my hand.

There are definite pro's and con's to spending your 20s in your home town, and as I finish my grad school applications and plan out the next steps in my life, I'm struggling with the idea that I may end up staying in Iowa City for the foreseeable future. It wouldn't be a bad thing. I'm comfortable and safe in IC...it's where I know I will always be welcomed. The grad program I am applying to is wonderful and I know that it would be a great fit for me. But, there are definitely times when I think that my head will explode if I spend any more time seeing the same buildings and faces day after day after day.

My decision for grad school will have a lot to do where I get in and the cost of the program. But I'd be lying if I didn't say that location will play a pretty solid factor too. I guess I just don't know how much I should be worried about where the program is. What do you think? How much should location play into my decision?