Choosing a graduate school involves making a myriad of decisions and judgements about prospective schools. Some very important decisions, like the quality of faculty, and others not so important, but nonetheless involved, like school colors (I love Carolina blue). A major decision in my graduate school choice was whether or not to move from Denver, Colorado to come to UNC Chapel Hill.
In hindsight it was a much bigger decision than I thought it would be. I underestimated how hard it would be to leave friends and familiar surroundings in Colorado, but it is a decision I am glad I made. Moving has given me the chance to experience a little bit more of the diversity that the United States has to offer geographically, culturally, historically, and more. I have gotten the chance to meet new people, see some beautiful scenery, and experience first hand the ways that North Carolina human service systems differ from the human service systems in Colorado (both could learn something from each other).
Do I wish some things were different? Yes. I wish North Carolina had mountains big enough to ski on, and that cockroaches did not move so fast 🙂 But, the biggest thing I wish was different however was in how quickly I decided to get involved. Relocating is a big job, but don’t let it stop you from diving into your new location. When I first moved I did not jump right in, but I wish I had. The past several months, as I have gotten to know classmates, made new friends, and explored all the wonderful restaurants and activities North Carolina offers, have been wonderful. A move is a big change, but it’s what you make of it. The sooner you make the effort to invest, the sooner you will reap the benefits.