I'm sure most of you know the basics; 20, sister, best friend, and oddly obsessed with peanut butter.

I wasn't sure what to write for my first blog post, so I decided to let the words flow from my mind to my fingertips.

I thought I'd share some background information, a little deeper for those who don't exactly know who I am.

When I graduated high school I had small town dreams: moving to a big city, excelling in everything I tried because I wasn't scared of being told no, and living the dream everyone told me I'd never get to. Life had different plans.

I attended a community college in Des Moines and hated every second of it, but I was "saving money" and "setting myself up for my future." Screw that.

After transferring to one of the most expensive private schools in the state of Iowa to continue to run track and have access to some of the resources that the best schools has to offer, I realized that I had found home. A place where my parents grew up, family only a short walk down the block, a few miles from the urban hub we call Des Moines, and just 16.4 miles from the place I originally called home, Pleasantville, IA.

We can all complain about the food and the crappy rules and the sticker price of $52K a year, but I've found so much more.

Friends are easy to come by here. Professors would give you their dominant arm to help you solve one stingy problem, even if you weren't paying attention in class to begin with. Guilty as charged.

COVID. It's different, but it's doable. Zoom classes, online meetings, and mask wearing in class is not something that anyone had asked for their senior year.

As a senior, I've never been to a homecoming, a Halloween party, or even Yell Like Hell. Thanks COVID.

But then I look back on the opportunities I've gotten while I wasn't going to those events last year: PRSSA National in San Diego, California, National College Media Convention in Washington D.C., internships, and countless networking opportunities that I would choose over and over again in a heartbeat.

I guess this is my open thank you to Simpson and for welcoming me home, a stranger with a dream. Thank you for the teammates, friends, and the opportunities you've given me. I hope I make you proud.

Enjoy first-year me. (Simpsonian AP stylebook for the win)

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