As the end of my high school journey drew near, I had a dream similar to everyone else: I was ready to leave home.
Born and raised in Moorhead, I felt that it was finally time for me to branch out, to spread my wings, and to experience the world. However, throughout my senior year of high school, I began to realize the many opportunities that surrounded me in the Fargo-Moorhead community.
Ultimately, my decision to stay in the F-M area for college was founded by three main reasons: I would be closer to my family and main support systems, I could leverage my connections to local businesses, and I would have the opportunity to travel.
First, having grown up in Moorhead, nearly my entire family is local to the area. Yet, spending 18 years living in close proximity to my family, I was ready for some distance and a much-needed break. I solved this by choosing to move into the dorms and later living off campus with friends. However, the perks of going to college in my hometown included going home whenever I wanted. I could take a half hour to leave campus and pet my dog, eat some bites of my mom’s homemade hotdish, or visit just so I could check in and say hi to my parents. These were always options.
An additional factor that I considered in high school and have realized even more while at Concordia is that, regardless of your major, you should never underestimate the importance of who you know. Especially for me, a business marketing major, building connections and networking with people in my field is incredibly important. Leveraging your relationships and mutual connections is extremely beneficial when searching for jobs, internships, or career mentors.
Throughout college, internships are incredibly important for gaining experience, applying your learning, and building even more connections. Oftentimes, the internships students complete during their college years manifest into full-time job offers after they graduate. In each field of study, all the students take the same courses and learn the same material in class. What often sets you apart from others in your field are the experiences and connections you make through college internships. Fargo-Moorhead is a great place to find internships and the Concordia community is there to support you in any way possible. In fact, I found the internship I am currently working through a mutual connection I made within the Cobber network.
Lastly, yes, I wanted the opportunity to travel. While staying in my hometown for college doesn’t sound like a great way to do that, I looked into the opportunities I would have to travel abroad during my time at Concordia and was pleasantly surprised. While touring and researching what different colleges had to offer, I found that Concordia provided the most benefits to get out into the world and explore. I even went abroad to London, Paris, and Scotland during the first semester of college with my Inquiry Seminar, “Adventure, Exploration, and Risk.”
As it turned out, staying in Fargo-Moorhead for college provided me with the most experiential learning and allowed me to grow personally and professionally with everything this community and college has to offer. While my college search originally began with the intention to study far away from home, I was able to experience the world while studying at the best institution for me right here in my hometown – at Concordia College in Moorhead.