Northwest vs. Midwest

I knew there was something special about Butler when I visited the school my senior year. Coming to the close of my freshman year at Butler, I’ve been looking forward to getting back home for the summer. It hasn’t always been easy the past 8 months going to school 2000 miles away from home, however, it has been extremely beneficial. It has given me a chance to step away from the day to day routine I knew at home. Coming to Butler has allowed me to build life skills and confidence, as well as showed me just how much I appreciate my family and their support.

Now to the real topic I wanted to discuss within this post. During my senior year, and through the year I served as a Washington FFA Association State Officer (which I was required to forgo a year of education for) I was asked the typical question for someone around the age of 18, “Where will you be going to college?” I’m sure most who knew me expected that I would go to WSU, and some thought OSU, but almost none expected me to say a community college in Kansas. Now if you would have told me this coming into high school, I would not have believed you either. My belief in the value of community colleges dramatically changed after visiting Butler. At home, most people go to the closest community college because “it’s the next step” not because they want to attend college and gain an education. This is the biggest difference I noticed about Butler, and community colleges across the Midwest. Through several credit hours at Butler I get the feeling that people WANT to be here. Not only that, but people here care about our programs. The turn out at our Ag Open House a couple weeks back was significant, and amazing to me.

A few differences I observed coming from Washington State to Kansas include, but are certainly not limited to: football at community colleges (no community college in Washington have football programs, whereas Butler has the best program in the nation over the past decade), Agricultural Departments at community colleges (the closest two-year Ag Program to home for me is approximately 10 hours, Linn-Benton CC in Oregon, at Butler we have a stellar program, amazing instructors, and state of the art facilities), and finally the weather (windier all the time! But thankfully warmer that home in the spring).

Another adjustment I had to make once arriving at Butler was understanding what schools my friends and classmates were referring to with acronyms. WSU (Washington State University at home) quickly became Wichita State University, and OSU (Oregon State University at home) became Oklahoma State University.

These are just a few of the differences I’ve experienced moving from home, but perhaps the most important difference has been in the friends I’ve made while at Butler. Between my livestock judging team mates, other agricultural students, and friends from outside the Ag Department at Butler I’ve found a new home. Everyone is outgoing, caring, and supportive of each other. Although there may not be much to do in El Dorado, hanging out and getting to know where people come from and how things are done differently in other parts of the country has been an enlightening experience. All in all, I’ve learned that a person can further their education in many ways, and sometimes moving away from home can provide invaluable life experiences. Thank you to all who have made Butler an opportunity, and a reality!

Explore posts in the same categories: Life Back Home, Life in the 67042

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