The Distance Question: Why I left AZ to Study in DC

When I moved into my first dorm at CUA (go Gibbons!), I had never before stepped foot on the campus. I came from Phoenix, Arizona, a full five-hour flight and 2,295 miles from Washington, D.C. I chose CUA based on the research I had done online and I had no idea what to expect when the taxi my parents and I took from the hotel rolled up in front of the Basilica.

I usually reveal that I’m from Arizona inadvertently; whether it be when I pull out my Angelica Grand Canyoncoat as soon as the temperature dips below seventy or when I asked what WaWa was and my friend gasped audibly. When people discover I’m from Arizona the first question is about the weather back home and the second question is about why I chose to cross the country for my education.

It took me a bit longer for me to get to CUA than most students, and not just because I was flying from Arizona. I spent my first year of college at a university close to home before deciding it wasn’t the best fit for me. One of the major factors of my decision to switch colleges was, in my mind, there are only so many times in a person’s life you can throw a dart at a map and move wherever it lands. I figured college would be the perfect chance for to explore a place I was totally unfamiliar with.

I picked CUA because of the small class sizes, the Greek and Latin department, and the campus. I wanted to live in a city where I wouldn’t need a car and there was always something to explore, but I also wanted to be able to hang out on the typical college green and CUA gave me both the campus and the city.

While sometimes it’s hard being away from home, living in DC has taught me a new kind of independence that I wouldn’t have experienced any other way. My friends are lovely and invite me home with them for Easter and Thanksgiving so I get to visit cities like Richmond, Williamsburg, and Philadelphia and whenever I meet another student from Arizona a sense of camaraderie is immediately apparent.

CUA has been the perfect school for a transplant like me because our campus is a home; not just for me and other out-of-state students, but also for those of us who live four stops away on the metro.

–Angelica S.

Angelica is a senior Classics major and Philosophy minor from Paradise Valley, Arizona. Being from Arizona, her hobbies include hydration and sunscreen application. Angelica is also Editor in Chief of The Tower, CUA’s student paper.

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