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There is no where else I'd rather call home.
Saint Joseph provides the hustle of big city life, with a small community feel. However, when it came to graduation and choosing a college, I knew I wanted to move out of my parents' home and experience university life. The city of Maryville and Northwest Missouri State University provided me that opportunity.
As a timid nineteen year old, I found a home away from home in Maryville. Not only did the school embrace me, so did the community. I worked a local job for three years, got to know community members, other students, and business owners. I spent weekends exploring Mozingo lake with friends and dog, nights studying on my quiet front porch, and mornings at the Board Game Café. Moving to a much smaller town scared me. How would I survive without Target and mom's homecooked meals? Local retailers such as Blue Willow Boutique became my new go to, and Tuck Point Bar and Grill was a staple for comfort food and good conversation. Maryville and surrounding communities supported students and welcomed us with open arms.
Four years later, I have left Maryville but am still drawn back. As people my age are often drawn to big cities away from home, the best advice I could give is to choose a community that will embrace you. I am proud to call northwest Missouri home today.