Some may not think the University of Iowa sounds as trendy or as dreamy as schools surrounded by the skyscrapers of New York or the coasts of California. However, I question why go for something rather overrated when you can be a part of one of the best universities in the country? Although the idea of going to an out of state school may not seem like it’s in the cards for you, never build expectations for college with a closed mind. Let me open up your options and share why my college, the University of Iowa may just be your ticket to the best four years of your life.
1.) The Diversity
The University of Iowa (or UI) is in no way a secluded, selective school. The student body is a mosaic of so many different countries and backgrounds. In fact, my class, the class of 2019, has just been declared the most diverse in all of UI’s history; having students from all 50 states and 26 countries across the globe. For example, I’m from Austin, Texas and my roommate is all the way from Cairo, Egypt! It’s pretty hard to feel isolated or out of place when you’re a part of something so awesomely diverse with a strong sense of community.
2.) UI Wants YOU!
Something important to keep in mind is that colleges want out-of-state students. Why? Because it’s for your benefit as well as theirs. Having a campus full of students of different heritages, races, and nationalities reflects the ideal image of education for all. Plus, it builds character to work and connect with different people. It’s a win-win! So, because UI wants you, your application may have that extra appeal to getting accepted.
3.) Dependable Application Options
Even if you’re in the middle of the application process and you’re still not entirely sure where you want to go, UI will provide a variety of good, solid options for students still deciding. Despite how uncertain you may be in the college process, UI on top of giving the information, aid, and tools you need to learn more about the school and the opportunities you have as a potential Hawkeye. My mailbox was constantly stuffed with letters, packets, copies of the campus’ newspaper; even free glittery black and gold swag.
4.) Rich with Opportunity
Yeah, it’s a fact: college is pretty expensive and out-of-state schools are no exceptions. However, as my high school counselor stressed time and time again, the money to pay for college is there. You just have to find it. UI has so many opportunities for all students to receive financial aid. Scholarships, loans, MPNs, FAFSA, job employments, grants, and more! UI can and will help you afford a good education- you as a student deserve that.
5.) Best Match for Your Major
My number one reason for coming to UI was the fact that they’re the best creative writing school in the country. As an English major, it seemed the perfect place for me to be – UI thought so, too! However, UI isn’t only outstanding in their more creative fields and liberal arts. UI has remarkable, top-notch academic programs in over 100 areas of study. UI itself has kept the title as one of the overall best universities in the USA time and time again. Always research the best places for your major and what you want to study. Even if you’re still searching for your major, UI most certainly has a place for your passions and goals.
6.) The College Town
All right, let’s brush the academia aside and focus on actually living at the University of Iowa. It’s so much more than just the campus. It’s at the center of Iowa City; a place that’s buzzing with life in the Midwest. Countless shops, parks, scenery, museums, bars, restaurants, affordably beautiful neighborhoods with houses to rent are all at your fingertips. From tattoo parlors to big, red, brick churches, voting booths to music festivals- you will never be bored in the busy city of Hawkeyes.
7.) Friends Become Family
Now, I think of myself pretty well when it comes to relationships, but my first days of college really made me go numb with social anxiety. Being more or less weary of a new part of your life is completely natural and actually rather wise, but I had no reason to fear at all. Going out of state means having to leave your home and nearly all familiarity, which will probably be overwhelming for you, too. UI truly helped me more than I could imagine with that transition. Change is hard, but my peers were there for me- fellow underclassmen, upperclassmen, grad students, professors. Everyone I met and continue to meet is warm, welcoming, and rich with great character. UI is a fantastic community of people. They’ll welcome you with open arms of black and gold as a new member of the Hawkeye family, I promise!
8.) Same Journey in the Same Boat
The University of Iowa understands the stress and, well, internal freak outs that come with adjusting to college- especially when you’re now living in a different state/country. That’s why UI is full of several clubs, organizations, orientations, and programs that will definitely involve your interests. Even better, UI has special get-togethers all over campus that are held for out-of-state students and other events that will help you meet more people who understand what you’re going through right now. It’s totally okay to feel stressed out of your mind about meeting new faces. I promise you nearly everyone else will be, too.
I’m sure that this fact has crossed your family’s mind more than yours. Going out of state probably means you’re going to be a fair distance from home. Terrifying? Sure. You can’t deny that there’s something that gives you a thrill at the thought of having that kind of independence, though. Look at me, I’m over 1,000 miles away from my family. Of course I miss my home in Texas, but you can’t beat that sense of really being on your own… and you know you’ll like it. Have confidence in this first part of adulthood! It’ll help you grow up, and discover more about yourself and how you want to live.
10.) The Experience
Think of being an out-of-state student as being a full-time traveler. You will learn so much from the experience, especially if you leave your home to be a part of the University of Iowa. It is worth it. College is about discovering yourself and the world around you. It’s about learning, and more than just in the educational aspect. Forget comfort zones! Why build barriers around yourself when this is the time to kick down walls to gain new perspectives? Do something daring that could be the best foundation of your future. This is your time now, to find where you belong. Trust me as a full-time, out-of-state UI student that this college may be a new place, a new home for you.