Three years and 80 posts later I've decided to end this blog.
I started it my Junior year of college, talked about the life of being a college student in Logan and the adventures that went with it. I graduated and kept it going for a year talking about the major milestones of my life as a recent graduate and how being an Aggie made all of these things possible.
This last month Norwest, the company I work for, offered me my first full-time salaried position complete with health, dental, vision, 401k, and a myriad of other little benefits such as my first business cards! :) The incoming freshmen this year were born when I was in 3rd grade. My budget habits have changed so much as a result of the career college has allowed me to pursue. Last night I bought $7 orange juice. In college I couldn't afford $3 orange juice. When I meet new people now and we talk about college, it's always in the past tense. I bought a USU shirt last week. It has buttons and a collar. As much as I'm definitely still an Aggie, it's time for the college-years blog to end.
This weekend I was able to drive through Logan twice on a trip with my YSA ward to Bear Lake. The first time through I saw all the freshmen wearing their new gameday shirts they got at SOAR. It's funny. They have no idea that they've already made the best decision of their lives. At Bear Lake there was a whole army of Aggies from my Salt Lake YSA ward. I guess the proximity to Logan makes us all bring our USU gear because I felt like a third of us were wearing it. On the way back I drove through downtown Logan and had a silly grin on my face missing all the fun times I had in the town and really wishing I could have stopped to eat at the Bluebird.
I really don't think people realize it when they enroll there, but more than signing up for a world class education. You're signing up for an exclusive club. The rest of your life any time you see someone wearing a Utah State shirt or hat, you just made a new friend. On the way back I was talking about this with the girl I was sitting next to. She is a U of U alumni. She told me that whenever she saw large groups of Aggies together that she was jealous of how it really does appear to be a club.
I think it's something that every other school in the state and most schools in the entire nation are missing. Most people go to school for an education and at most of them that's just what you get. At Utah State it was only about a third of what I received. I got a life experience and I got lifetime membership to this exclusive alumni group that know about the incredible life experience I had, because we all shared it. And because you really can't have the experience anywhere or any time else besides Logan Utah, when you're in your late-teens/early-twenties.
The life experience really changed my life. I was a pretty unhappy person without much direction in life. I just knew I needed to get that degree so I could get a job and make money or something. Why? Because that's what people do. So I did that.
At the school I met my best friends and I always felt like I belonged. Even when I would quit dating someone or lose a friend or group of friends or when a friend of mine would get married and forget I existed, it really didn't matter because there was always thousands of other people looking to make a new friend. I met and developed more close relationships with complete strangers than I will at any other point in my life.
Sure there were crappy days and moments, but that's life. There always are. Overall it was amazing. I was always engaged in learning, experiencing new things and meeting new people. When I graduated I felt like a completely different person. Some things I could never do before then was work a 12+ hour shift, have conversations with complete strangers or put effort into something that I didn't experience an immediate reward from. I do all of those fairly easily now.
If for some reason you're a potential Aggie or know someone who is, don't think twice about it. You may think the U of U or BYU is where it's at because they're the bigger schools and they have more alumni base in Salt Lake and Provo, but you're so wrong. I'm biased, sure, but I know enough Utes and Cougars to say that from my most objective point of view. You just don't experience the same things at those schools as you do in Logan. Sure, maybe in Utah you get to see an incredible football team and in Provo you get to say a prayer before you start class, but the experience of leaving the city, living on your own with complete strangers, all of which are doing the same thing you're doing, sledding down Old Main hill, becoming a True Aggie, doing the Scotsman, wearing shorts because it warmed up to 30 degrees and you can see the sky today, eating Aggie-Blue Mint ice cream, seeing the A light up blue, finding free meals 4 nights a week, and well, and doing the winning team, losing team chant for the first time. You just don't get that anywhere else.
I got hired by my current employer because of being an Aggie.
I met nearly all of my best friends because of being an Aggie.
I infinitely improved my social skills while being an Aggie.
I gained a well rounded education while being an Aggie.
I discovered a love of college athletics from being an Aggie.
Most importantly, for the first time in my life, while I was an Aggie I always felt like I belonged. Even now I sometimes miss college because of that, but I think the Homecoming motto this year says it best:
"Once an Aggie, always an Aggie."