Colorado Mesa University

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Lauren PoppStudent Ambassador
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A New Chapter

November 29, 2016

I went to a big private Catholic school in Utah and I was on that same campus since I was 18 months old. I went to one school my entire life and that is all I knew, I had some of the same friends for sixteen years, I was involved in a multitude of organizations at my school and I was thriving. I loved where I went to school, I loved my community, my friends, my job and my city.  During my senior year of high school all that was on my mind was: school, family, friends, work and the big one... college. For me, school was fairly easy, all my teachers liked me and I really liked them.  At the beginning of my senior year I had no idea of where I wanted to go to college and honestly I didn’t want to think about it. I was happy where I was, and I was happy with what I was doing. 

Then came my school's college fair. At this point I thought I would just end up going to the University of Utah, where the majority of friends were going and I would have a great time.  But in no stretch of my imagination was I excited about going to “The U” (University of Utah).  I just wasn’t excited about college in general. That was until I found Colorado Mesa University.  I talked to the representative at the booth, and it turned out that he graduated from my high school and our parents knew each other. He got me so excited about college, and for the first time I actually felt excited about the possibilities before me. The representative told me that to really get a feel for everything CMU had to offer me, I would have to go to a Mesa Experience day. My dad and I set up a weekend to go the Mesa Experience in October. We came and we toured around town first and I instantly fell in love with Grand Junction. The next day we came to campus and did the Mesa Experience, and I knew that this was the college I was meant to go to.

I never thought that I would go out of state for college. I always thought I would go to The U, I grew up a Utes fan, my sister went there, my family and I would go to their basketball games. It just made sense for me to go there. But The U wasn’t where I belonged. I needed classes where I wasn’t just a number, but where I would be a name. Where I wasn’t taught by a TA but by the Professor. CMU had all of these things and more. I was lucky enough to receive the Ambassador Scholarship at CMU. That scholarship made it possible for me to go to the school of my dreams. 

I am freshman pre-nursing student here at CMU. I am a Student Ambassador and I get to tell hundreds of students why my school is so amazing. I get to go out into the Colorado River to catch fish and learn about them for my Biology Lab class. I am able to go hike the Colorado National Monument for a Kinesiology credit. I am able to do so much here that I wouldn’t be able to anywhere else.

Of course I still miss all my friends back at home. I get to talk to my parents every week and facetime them when our schedules line up.  But it’s not the same as seeing them face to face, and there are times where I wish my family was here so I could hug them when I have had a rough day. But I am lucky enough to have made a family here. I have my ambassador family and all of my other friends who are always there for me. I love college so far. It is like nothing I have ever experienced before. It’s hard work, but I love it.  CMU is where I belong, and every day it feels a little bit more like home.

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