By Jessica Griffin, a senior journalism major from Mt. Vernon. She is the Old School and on the Edge ed

When I was interviewing with Landmark Communications a few days ago, my interviewer noticed on my rsum that I had spent my first three semesters of college at Northern Kentucky University. He asked me why I switched schools, and if I was happy with my decision in the end. I thought for a moment, and then proceeded to tell how I came to be a student at Eastern (which will become my alma mater in May), and how my decision to transfer schools was one of the best of my life. Because I won’t be here much longer, I think I’ll tell the entire school my story to show how much I love this place and why. Maybe my story will help you to appreciate your school just a little more, as well.

My story begins like this. I was born in Northern Kentucky, and was raised there until I was 11 years old. That year, my family and I moved two hours south, to Mt. Vernon, Ky. The whole time I was in middle and high school I could think of nothing more than moving back to Florence. It only seemed natural for me to attend Northern after I graduated from high school, so that’s where I went.

Ironically, when I got there, all I could think about was going back to Mt. Vernon.

I spent hours on the phone each night to my family and friends, and each weekend made the two-hour journey home. I felt that I didn’t belong at Northern, in between the cold, concrete walls of its campus. The people there seemed too busy and unfriendly to give me the time of day, and the atmosphere seemed kind of chaotic. It didn’t take very long for me to decide that I should transfer to Eastern, and in January 1999 I made the switch.

The day before my first day of classes here, my friend from high school showed me where all my classes were, and right away I knew I had made the right choice. I saw more trees and grass on campus, and less concrete and cold buildings. I saw friendly faces everywhere, and immediately felt comfortable.

Over the course of the next four years, I made new friends, declared my major and found my calling in a feature writing class. I was taken under the wing of several professors who helped shape me into the best journalist I can be. I found a new home away from home here at The Eastern Progress, and met even more friends that I hope to have for the rest of my life.

It’s probable that I will be asked about my short stay at Northern in other interviews I will have over the course of my career. I can’t wait to look my interviewers in the eye and tell them confidently that it was the best decision I ever made, and that Eastern has taught me to be the best that I can be.