When you can't buy a mix and match 6 pack at Walgreens

Here's help if you're having withdrawals like me. Hello, my name's Kelsey and I've been sans-college for only 3 months....

Here's help if you're having withdrawals like me. Hello, my name's Kelsey and I've been sans-college for only 3 months.

As much as I don't want to admit the summer flew by because well then, that would admit the summer did indeed fly by which leads to the fact that it's almost over, it has. 

Moment of silence for the two weeks we still officially have left. 

And while I am all for holding on to the last rays of sunshine, humor me while I jump ahead to some colder days just around river bend. Cue Pocahontas. 

Usually around this time for the past four years, I've been packing up and moving back to my college town to college it out for the next 9 months. Unfortunately due to my wealth of knowledge and planning skills, they've somehow let me leave (not without some $$$ to pay them back but that's a different story). 

I hated my small college town of Mt Pleasant. 

You weren't expecting me to say that were you? HA. Jk but really. To say Mt Pleasant was my least favorite spot September of 2011 would not have been an overstatement. I came from a hometown with a big city, always having things to do and graduated with 400 people in high school. Moving to a town where there was literally a "Main Street" and the highlight of Saturday night was going to Applebees wasn't exactly on my "adventures after high school" list. I felt like I was stuck there for the next four years of my life. I would never feel school loyalty in a place with thousands of students.

*Eye roll*. Freshman, right?

Little did I know that CMU and everyone in that not-so-sleepy college town would become quite literally my home. After adjusting to the initial shock of uprooting my life and becoming a Chippewa, my hometown no longer felt like home. Main Street became my favorite place and half off apps was always the right answer. 

I made new friends, ate in the cafeteria alone, befriended my roommates, the three crazy guys down the hall in the handicap room and the ones a floor above, and shared one tiny TV, not to mention a room. Privacy no longer was a thing. I had classes with professors I actually liked, about things I was actually interested in. My friends were now people who had the same interests as me. I got a horrible/wonderful job in the cafeteria which I stayed at for the rest of my college career (s/o to all my Merrillites you can do it) and met the best people there. I woke up an hour late to class (oops), and no one yelled at me for it. I just became myself. 

Now pause while I get sentimental. This is going somewhere I promise.

The rest of college was a roller coaster. I met my best friends, stayed up all night for group projects, went to football games, met at IHOP still half asleep on Sunday mornings, "studied" at coffee shops, put on a fashion show. You went out on Tuesdays because so did the rest of the town. A college town meant everyone was in the same boat. All your neighbors were the same age as you, doing the same thing you were doing: dragging themselves through classes and work to make rent payments each month, having a blast on the weekends, eating a piece of toast and cereal for countless meals because you're too broke and lazy to get anything else. 

In the middle of the mitten, MP is pretty much 3 miles wide, a radius of apartments and campus and twenty somethings in a city that revolves around the 27,000 people living life. Drink specials are $1 beers and Walgreens carries mix and match 6 packs next to CMU t-shirts. We are quite literally in our own world. You can't walk down the street anywhere in a maroon and gold shirt without someone yelling "Fire Up Chips!". Being in your own world with the same people for years brings you together in a way that nothing else can.

And as much as the population likes to say they can't wait to graduate, that they wouldn't be caught dead living here permanently to become a "townie", we all secretly wish we could, at least to stay twenty-something forever. To quote the cliche, "You don't know what you've got til it's gone", but trust me, I did. I knew every moment of my senior year that would be my last in a town that had become home to me. And what are you to do when they tell you your time's up? That's life and it's called change. 

Post grad life has been significantly less exciting than I had prepared myself for, but then again, CMU was ten times the adventure I was expecting. That's life too chicas and chicos, and guess what, it's just starting. I'll always have my fellow Chips out there in the world and that makes me happy. 

As much as I miss moving back to Central, I'll forever bleed maroon and gold, and quite honestly, I'm not sure any other university can ever garner the loyalty it has. But then again I'm biased. 

Fire up chips. 

photo source: http://www.mountpleasantwow.com/cmu-44/

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