I’ll be honest with you: when I first moved to Kutztown to attend college, I didn’t really intend to stay. I figured I would end up back home in Litchfield, or maybe move on to Philadelphia–or an even bigger city somewhere. I had liked the campus when I visited my junior year of high school with my mom, who is an alum and wanted me to carry on the family tradition, but I wasn’t looking at the big picture back then. Honestly, I’m not sure if I had any idea where I wanted to end up. It is a little unrealistic for someone to be able to work that out for themselves at the ridiculous age of 16. Or maybe you did, and 16 wasn’t a ridiculous age for you. But when I was that old, I wasn’t even capable of taking care of a plant, nevermind mapping out an entire future for myself.
What I did know was that I wanted culture. I wanted something besides the local Walmart to be open at 1 am. I figured college was going to be a stepping stone to all that.There are so many great minds here thanks to KU. It really sets a place like Kutztown apart from other towns around the country. It lends an air of sophistication and academia that is sorely lacking in many other places around Pennsylvania (if I’m being totally honest, that is). This place comes alive when the students are in town, and I remember how great it felt to come back every year. Even now when I am on the other side of things, I love seeing the college students arrive at the end of summer, their fresh young faces full of possibility. It brings me great joy to watch their caps fly in the air every spring.
Over the course of my four years as an undergrad, I really got to know Kutztown. Its small town feel and big heart. I love the sense of culture and community that it has—it is so much more than a college town with a strip of chain restaurants and bars lining the only road in and out (you may laugh, but I grew up close enough to some SUNY schools to know a good thing when I see it). I love being able to walk down Main Street and support my neighbors every time I spend money. I really enjoy the block parties and municipal pool, the places to eat and concerts in Kutztown Park. The community service I did through KU while I was a student had a huge impact on who I am today and what I decided to do as a career. I wouldn’t be who I am today without those experiences, and I am eternally grateful for everyone I have met along the way.
Like I said, I didn’t mean to stay. But I am glad that I did. Kutztown has won my heart, and I’m proud to call it home.