As you’re reading this, I am on my way back to college. We likely got up early this morning and are a few hours into our sixteen-hour drive back to the University of Missouri. 

Yes, yes, I will miss my families, my dogs, and the home-cooked meals. But as much as I don’t want my senior year to end, I cannot wait for it to start.

P.S. See you soon roomie!

Finding My Home Away From Home

From the time I started thinking about my college journey, I knew that I wanted to go far away from home. I wanted to experience a different part of the country and a different part of American culture that I would have never encountered otherwise. 

kylie and jill mizzou

When I first visited Mizzou, I didn’t feel anything. We were there to see my parent’s alma mater. But after we left, it kept worming its way back into my mind. 

When I stepped foot on campus the second time, things seemed different. It was like a favorite pair of jeans that were discontinued—a perfect fit. Perspective and intention can change a lot. For me, something that belonged to somebody else suddenly became mine. 

Despite all of my friends remaining within the tri-state area for college, I never regretted moving halfway across the country. It forced me to grow in ways that I didn’t even know needed to change. 

kylie college

It is kind of like how they say you can’t study in the same place you sleep. Your mind is conditioned to relax (not focus) where you sleep, so obviously, that’s not conducive to studying.

Not knowing anyone at Mizzou allowed me to expand beyond the pre-existing relationships and dynamics that I had settled into.

Speaking of relationships, in middle school and high school, I was shy. I had my friend group and I didn’t see the point of trying to make friends with people who seemed disinterested. That’s until I joined a sorority. 

Joining A Sorority

When I told my friends I wanted to join a sorority, none of them could picture me as a sorority girl. Perspective changes everything and for the first time in my life, I could see that I had a lot in common with the girls that intimidated me before.

As prestigious as college sororities seem, the girls are honestly some of the funniest, sweetest, and craziest (in a good way) girls that you will ever meet.

kylie sorority

One of my favorite sorority memories to date (besides getting my pledge family) was winning Homecoming my freshman year. For you to understand the significance of such a win, you first have to know that Mizzou created homecoming.

Despite other schools’ claims, Mizzou has been recognized as the birthplace of homecoming by the NCAA, Trivial Pursuit, and Jeopardy.

homecoming banner

I vividly remember the feeling of overwhelming pride when I saw that banner. I spent around 30 hours helping my sisters make our parade float and the decorations for our community-interactive skit.

Branching off of the overall game theme, my sorority was assigned Chutes and Ladders. You can’t quite tell from the picture, but the cut-out figure moved up and down on the red slide.

homecoming float

Theta has taught and given me so many things, however, the most important lesson is that you can’t judge a book by its cover.

Regardless of how confident someone seems, they might be just like you. We all have our moments when we let doubt creep in, but what’s important is what we do to overcome it.

That’s where my friends come in. I know it is cliche, but when you live in a house with so many girls, chances are you become best friends with a handful of them. 

Finding My People

You know the saying, “I can’t imagine life without you?” It’s really true. I cannot imagine my life without the friends I made at Mizzou.

kylie friends

Where I falter, they pick up the slack and vice-versa. Each of them knows that no matter the time, I am always there if they need me.

Each and every one of them has taught me so much about myself. They’ve given me confidence in myself and in my ability to set boundaries. They’ve been my partners-in-crime and the people who will tell it to me straight. 

sorority friends

Most importantly, my friends have given me time. Time is valuable and they have given me so much time in their life. They’ve given me those shared memories that I know that we’ll cherish forever. 

From annual visits to the Six Flags Fright Fest to local concerts at the Blue Note to sitting on the Mizzou Columns at midnight, we will never have a shortage of college memories to look back on. While some of my friends already graduated, we still have so many memories left to make.

college friends

Throughout the last three years, I have met so many amazing souls. Whether I met them through my sorority or in my rundown freshman dorm, my friends have helped me blossom in so many ways. 

What Mizzou Has Given Me

Sure, Mizzou has taught me important lessons in the classroom like what true journalism entails or the psychology of marketing and advertising. Yet, it has also given me the opportunity to grow into ME. 

Wherever life takes me and however I continue to grow, Mizzou gave me things I will never forget. 

From me to you,


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