By: Chris Fritsch
Going to school out of state can be challenging because for most people it’s the first time kids have left their parents. Being a part of the basketball team for two years here at AU allowed me to spend a lot of time with people from different states. Hearing the different stories of how they were raised is interesting and it allows you to build a connection with a complete stranger. Most of my close friends here at school are from out of state and we gained connection through sharing stories and things we had in common.
I share a room in my house with Alex Fernandez from Phoenix, Arizona and I have never shared a room with anybody but my brother. So it has been an experience adapting to how one another operates and lives their everyday life. “Being away from home is hard especially being that far away. The weather difference is probably the hardest thing for me because in Arizona it’s so hot all the time and out here you never know what you are going to get. If I had a choice I would definitely choose the desert life instead of being here,” said Fernandez.
Meeting people from out of state is a normal thing in college. You could get assigned a dorm room with a kid from Hawaii and have to stay with him for six plus months. Its all a part of the experience of college Fernandez said, “I have enjoyed my short time here at AU and I hope it continues to get better. The people I have met are real cool people.”
I also live with somebody from Milwaukee, Wisconsin even though that is only a couple hours away he still struggles with missing home often. Marcus Meyers went to college in Minnesota the last two years so coming to Aurora was a blessing because he was closer to home. You never know somebody’s reasoning as to why they traveled as far as they did for school but it makes your experience a whole lot better knowing you met these specific people.
I have the privilege of being close with one of the first people I met at Aurora, Jordan Lagrone. His hometown is six hours away in Evansville, Indiana. “The hardest part about being that far away from home was obviously my family but my parents not being able to see me play in person all the time. They were able to catch a few games a year but other than that I have enjoyed the experience. Met some people I hope to be in touch with for the rest of my life.” For me personally six hours away is too far but you have to do what you have to do in order to play ball. “I definitely picked the right place no matter how far away it is from home. It makes my return home that much better after graduation in May.”
Many people have many different things to say about college but the out of state students actually get a chance to leave the state of Illinois multiple times a year which is something Illinoisans beg for.