Guest column: it’s a great big world



Guest Columnist Megan Bradford reflects on her time living in Cedar Falls and what her future holds.

Guest Column

Editor’s Note: The following column was submitted by Megan Bradford, a senior public relations major with a minor in marketing.

With graduation just around the corner this May personally the thought of, “where am I going?” and “how far is too far?” crosses my mind at least a few times a day. Sure, I have tentative plans for myself but nothing is set in stone. I don’t think that until I walk across the stage holding my diploma in hand that it will actually hit me that my college career is over and that it is time to move on. To where though? The future is frightening but the possibilities are endless.

My older sister, Madison, moved to New York City not long after graduation in September of 2018 with the dream to make the Big Apple her new home. She had a plan and made that plan come to life. How I wish I had her confidence and go-getter mindset. I have often thought to myself, “Wow, I could never go that far.” Many dream of moving to NYC but for Madison, her dream is now her reality and man, is she killing it.

I have lost track of how many times people have asked, “So, are you going to go join your sister?” The answer is a big fat no. NYC for me is overwhelming and not a place I can see myself living, ever. I struggle with the idea of moving to Minneapolis or Kansas City. Being far away from home and my family is quite terrifying for me. I am very much a homebody and like to remain close to my family, friends and anything familiar. I have realized that going across the country isn’t for everyone and that is okay. Of course, I would like to get out of Iowa for a bit but I am certain that I will always call it home.

Whether I decide to explore west of Iowa or venture somewhere down south, I say that with the end goal of being back close to Iowa afterwards. I long for some adventure and know that there is no time like the present to go and find that adventure. Being from Cedar Falls and going to college in the same town becomes repetitive and, quite honestly, boring. I am in dire need of a change of scenery.

“If you don’t go right after college, you never will.” This message has been lingering in my head over the past few months when trying to map out my life come May. I wish I could pinpoint exactly who said this to me but regardless of who said it, it has stuck with me. I have heard it in different variations but all with the same message: go and travel after college or one day you’ll realize you don’t have the chance to do so. You’re only young once and we should all take advantage of that.

I am one that puts doing what is best for myself off to the side, to focus on the present or to focus on concerns of others. I made a vow to myself not long ago that I won’t hesitate, I will go and explore this big beautiful world. Of course, I am nervous about the process and all of the work it will take to end up somewhere different but that is all part of growing up and moving on. Thankfully, I have a more than supportive family behind me and countless other individuals who also want what to see me thrive.

The point of this (short) article is to not sit here and talk about myself but to hopefully push those who are hesitant to go out and explore. If you would have asked me this time last year what I was doing, my plan would have been extremely different and I would have said Iowa will be home forever. The world is too big to sit back and watch others have all of the fun.