Moving is necessary

Leaving home can be scary, but leads to better things.

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Moving is necessary

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After you read this first paragraph, follow its instructions. Close your eyes. Imagine yourself in a peaceful place. Somewhere, the stress and rush of life falls away and time moves leisurely. You wish you were there don’t you?

This past weekend, I was.

My friend, Taylor, wanted to show me her hometown of Riverdale. Riverdale is by no means a prominent fixture on any map — but that was exactly the reason I was so excited. I was craving some small town comforts. As we drove four hours along the barren roads of North Dakota, I found myself relaxing. It was an odd feeling at first — I realized I hadn’t been fully relaxed since before the semester began.

We spent the weekend taking full advantage of the comforts of home, the best of which included baking, shopping and hearty meals. I got a little taste of the small town life. It’s not extravagant, but quaint; it’s not fast-paced, but leisurely. That’s exactly what I love, and I needed a good dose of it. As the weekend drew to a close, I found the trip back to Grand Forks a bittersweet journey. As much as I loved my time in paradise, I still was excited to get back to town. It may be cliche to say, but I was torn between two worlds.

Small town life is a little slice of heaven. It’s got the class, the charm and the friendly neighbors. But, of course, little towns don’t have the opportunities that larger cities can offer, and that’s why most of us migrated here to UND. We needed an education, a job or a few new faces in our lives, and the small town life couldn’t provide that.

Here, the city lights outshine the moon. Driving into Grand Forks, the sky is aglow with the brightness of the city life beneath. Sometimes, we just need to relocate and throw ourselves into the thick of it in pursuit of a dream.

My dream is pretty basic. Graduate. Get a job in a medical laboratory. Marry the man I love. Make babies. Live happily ever after in a nice little two-story somewhere out in the country. It sounds simple, and yet it requires both worlds I’ve mentioned. In order to achieve my goal, I need to obtain something that a town any smaller than Grand Forks couldn’t give me.

The dreams of others are much more “out there.” And by “out there,” I mean literally. Pursuing a dream to live on the East or West Coast smack dab in the middle of cities like L.A. or New York City actually excites some people. If that is their slice of heaven, all the more power to them. All I can say is it would be a nightmare for me.

Without the permanent city flockers, there wouldn’t be the small town life, so I should be thankful for those who are. But, it’s also the ones who don’t ever leave home that I don’t understand either.

I’ve always been a bit confused about the kids who stay back in small towns and don’t come to places like UND to pursue higher education. UND is great for branching out and getting that well-rounded educational experience, especially since — in the current economy — we are basically out of luck without one.

I love small towns, and I love Grand Forks; I could never imagine life without both. It’s a perfect balance.

Over the past weekend, I realized how lucky that makes me. I get to have the best of both worlds — sans the annoyingly catchy old Hannah Montana tune. Too much of a good thing really isn’t a good thing. I’m quite certain that perfect balance between the quiet and the ruckus is exactly what keeps me sane.

Mary Ochs is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at mary.ochs@my.und.edu.

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