When I toured Concordia, there was something about it that just felt right. For the majority of my college career, I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what it was about the Fargo-Moorhead area that made it so appealing. Now, I’ve made a list so you, too, can make the switch from Twin Cities kid to Fargo-Moorhead aficionado.

1. It’s quiet, but not too quiet.

Choosing a place to spend your college years is a big decision. It’s important to think about what you want your on-campus experience to be like, but it’s also really important not to overlook what you want your off-campus experience to be like. That is where you’ll be spending most of your time out of class anyway. Coming to Fargo-Moorhead from the Twin Cities is great because there are tons of things to do, but it’s not as overwhelming to be downtown on your own as it might be in Minneapolis. It’s the perfect balance of excitement and relaxation.

2. Community is everything here.

In terms of on-campus life, Concordia’s Cobber community is one of the best I’ve seen and I’m so happy that I get to experience it. Campus is small enough that it’s not uncommon to spot a friendly face on the way from the dorms to class – not to mention being able to cross campus in under 10 minutes. One of the other reasons I really love Concordia’s smaller community is the class size. Most of the classes that I have been involved in, especially as you get more concentrated in your major, have around 15 people. This is great for creating discussion within class as well as getting to know your professors well. Life in the Fargo-Moorhead area really makes you feel like you’re part of a big family and it’s great.

3. You’re not missing out on anything.

If you’re worried about missing out on your favorite restaurants and shops when you come to Concordia, stop. Just because the Fargo-Moorhead metro is smaller than the Twin Cities doesn’t mean you need to miss out on your morning latte from Starbucks, lunch at Chipotle, or dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. There is no shortage of places to eat here. As for shopping, Fargo-Moorhead might not have the Mall of America, but the West Acres Mall will most likely meet all of your shopping requirements. You aren’t limited to indoor activities either. Play Frisbee golf at a park nearby (there are tons!), go sledding or, if you’re really feeling brave, try sky diving with Skydive Fargo.

4. Become a local.

Apart from the big-name restaurants and shopping centers, there are so many local places to explore, support and enjoy. You can become a regular at one of the local downtown coffee shops, like Twenty Belowor Young Blood. Try taking in an afternoon at the Plains Art Museum or the Rourke Art Museum. Sit down for a bite at Sickies Garage – seriously, they have the best burgers. Or stop in at White House Co., the newest vintage shop downtown, to find the best dorm room accessories! I never find myself lacking for things to do here, and it’s the best feeling to walk into a shop and have them know you by name.

5. It’s just far enough.

A big reason I chose Concordia was because of its distance from home. I wanted to go somewhere far enough from home that I wouldn’t be tempted to spend my free time at my childhood house, but close enough to home that I could go home without too much trouble. Not to mention, it keeps the parents from making surprise appearances at my dorm (wink). Concordia fits the bill, with only a 3.5-hour drive each way. Also, if you’re without a car, don’t worry! Concordia has a great student carpool program that makes it easy to get home without a problem, Concordia’s bike share service (COBBikes) has you covered for quick trips around campus or in town, and MATBUS’ public transit has two stops on campus and is free with your Concordia ID.