As an Ohioan living in Texas, moving here has provided many new (and sometimes interesting, other times odd, many times challenging) experiences. I will admit, I am chage-o-phobic. I can barely handle a new TV channel line-up without freaking out, so you can imagine how I dealt with all of the changes involved in a cross-country move. It’s been an up and down battle, but I think I’m finally starting to get settled in here in the lone-star state.
I decided to do a mini-series for the blog called “Texas Transitions” in which I reflect upon some of the differences between Ohio and Texas and some of the experiences I have had while adjusting to life so far away from everything that is “normal” (aka Ohio). I am obviously not the first person to ever leave home and move somewhere new, so maybe my stories, struggles, and reflections about life in a new place will help someone else who is going through a similar transition. At the very least, some of the stories should be good for a laugh! I have loads of ideas for these posts, but I thought I’d start from the beginning and give you the (somewhat) short version of how the heck I ended up down here!
As you’ve probably gathered by now, I went to Ohio State for grad school. And I LOVED it! Seriously. My life was everything I ever wanted for those two years of grad school. I had an assistantship that required me to work 20 hours on campus (with Fridays off!) and paid for my schooling, I took 9 hours of class every quarter, I was at Ohio State (I mean, come on, that school is bursting with school spirit and awesomeness), and I had a social life that was non-stop. Happy hours, OSU football games, cohort dinners, nights out, holiday parties, trips to TN for long weekends in a cabin, so on and so forth, packed my calendar. Life was good.
Sure, I got burnt out from classes from time to time and had a lot of papers to write. And sure, there was cohort drama from time to time. And ok, I dated some sketch characters at the time. But in general, it was a damn good time.
I was also in love with the city of Columbus. I grew up in Columbus, but from the time I left for college to the time I returned in 2007 the city had changed. It was a great place to be a young twentysomething and there was always something to do.
I not only loved Columbus, but I also loved Cleveland. Yes, I know Cleveland gets a bad rap, but I think it’s a great city with a lot going on. It’s much “older” than Columbus, but it has a lot of history because of it. Plus, it’s where most of my college friends live(d), so I loved to visit.
Naturally, when I began my job search in January (ish) 2009, I focused on Columbus and Cleveland schools. I’m sure you’re now scratching your heads thinking “so how the heck did you end up in Texas 6 months later?!”…that’s where it gets a bit fuzzy.
There was a turning point in February (ish) where I suddenly began applying for jobs all over the place. I ended a relationship just after Valentine’s Day (so romantic of me, huh) and felt the itch to get out of Ohio. I knew most of my grad schools friends would be leaving the state and I didn’t want to get left behind. I attended a job placement conference in March (if you’re not familiar, in the world of Higher Ed, you often attend a placement conference for your first job out of grad school. Basically, you go to said conference, so do a bunch of other employers, and you get to interview with a slew of schools from all over the country…nice and convenient) and I filled my interview schedule with schools from across the country instead of just Columbus and Cleveland.
I interviewed with about 20 colleges, had second interviews with about 10 of those, and then did “on campus” interviews at my top 4 choices. None of which were in Ohio. Somehow, my on campus interviews all ended up being to the west and included schools in Colorado, Arizona, and ta-da…Texas! In late-April, after a complete whirl-wind job search (there was a time for about a month where I had at least one flight per week), I received a job offer for a position in Texas that started in July.
I don’t remember exactly when
reality the panic set in, but at some point around late-May I remember ending up on my bedroom floor (after a night out downtown with friends) crying hysterically. It had hit me. I was leaving Ohio. And I was freaked! I hardly had time to let this new reality sink in because May, graduation, and June flew by and before I knew it, it was my last night out in Columbus to say good-bye to friends. Everyone was leaving. The awesome ride was over. It was time to move on.
And in late-June, I too moved on and I made the move to Texas!
The rest, as they say, is history. History that I’ll recap in future Texas transitions posts. Stay tuned! 🙂