One year ago, almost to the day, my life was on the verge of being turned upside down. If you remember, my mom and I flew out to visit Ellensburg to see the life I’d already committed myself to. It’s a good thing I didn’t hate it immediately, because there was no turning back. After our brief trip out here, I flew home, packed my car with all my belongings, Charlie and my dad and I hit the road to Washington.

To see my initial reactions to Ellensburg and Seattle click here.

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So after a year of living here, what do I think about this place?

Well, I’m glad that I’m only committed to living here for another year AND that Central doesn’t offer a PhD program. I’m ready for a change of scenery and some chain stores! [No Target, no Publix, no Chipotle, and no local Borders is starting to kill me.]

Everyone assumes that since I’m living in Washington, somehow that means that I’m living in Seattle. Sadly, that is not the case. I think living in Seattle would be far more exciting. Unfortunately, Ellensburg is nothing like Seattle. It hardly rains here [and I LOVE rain]. Eburg is a solid two hours of mountainous driving from Seattle. Eburg doesn’t have a liberal hippy population — this is a strictly cowboy and hay bailing town. The age demographic is heavily skewed toward 18-21 year old undergrads and families. And most importantly, there isn’t much to do here.

It’s so SMALL! Yes, it’s beautiful.

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Yes, it’s very safe here. [Here’s an snippet from the police blotter… “Five cows were reported in the roadway on Naneum Road.”]

Yes, I can go walking at night or leave my windows open when I leave for vacation.
Yes, most people know each other.
What’s not to love?

But umm, I’m bored.

The local residents seem to resent the university students, so Eburg doesn’t really embrace the university population or allow for development that would cater to a younger population. Eburg COULD be an awesome college town. A happening place. But it isn’t. All the town events are geared toward families and locals. The First Friday Art Walk is pretty lame. We’ll see about rodeo weekend. Apparently the rodeo and fair, which are happening this weekend, is THE BIGGEST event in Eburg. It’s the 19th biggest rodeo in the country. Who knew?

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So with all my griping, do I regret my decision to move here?

Absolutely not. It’s an experience. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes boring.

It’s all part of growing and being here has definitely made me appreciate Florida. When I left Florida I had absolutely no intentions of ever returning, but now I miss the state, the beach, my friends, my family, even Tallahassee. Being at Central helped me to appreciate and value my education at FSU, which I previously had taken for granted. To be honest, I almost wish life here was a bit tougher. Maybe that sounds silly, but dealing with life in a big city like Seattle might have forced me to grow more as an adult.

This next year won’t be as new and exciting, since I doubt there is much adjusting to Ellensburg left to do, but it will be a big transition year. In the next year I’m going to be retaking the GRE, relearning Spanish, writing my thesis, applying to PhD programs, hopefully being accepted to a program, moving [most likely back across the country], hopefully doing an internship somewhere, and then finally starting over once again in Fall 2011. Thankfully with the PhD program I’ll be settled in whatever location for five-six years. I’ve been moving every year or so since I started undergrad! I can’t wait to stay put, although part of me does fear I’ll get bored wherever I land. Oh well, now is not the time to worry about things like that!

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