After two years at Franciscan, as much as I loved it, I decided to transfer. There were lots of reasons, but a few of the main ones were to study magazine journalism, to live in a place where I could find internship opportunities, and to experience a big school (I went to a small private high school, and craved the “real” college experience a little bit). I went through the transfer application process while I was studying abroad and my family was waiting to hear if they’d be moving back to America from Qatar, where we’d been for seven years by that time. Needless to say, it was a bit of a crazy time to add one more major life decision into the mix, and after being accepted to my dream school, the University of Texas, as well my back-up, the University of Pittsburgh, I decided to go to Pitt because I couldn’t figure out how I would get all my stuff from Ohio to Texas. My sister was about to start there as a freshman, so of course, that was a big bonus as well! Honestly, my year at Pitt was one of the most challenging of my life–it wasn’t a great fit for me, I had the hardest time finding community, I lived in a horrible apartment, and I was terribly homesick. I knew I made the right decision transferring again after a year, but I’m thankful that over time, the hard parts of my year in Pittsburgh have faded away, while the good memories have stayed clearer. Here are 10 of my favorites!
1. Living and going to class in such a busy, bustling place. I loved that you couldn’t even distinguish Pitt buildings from regular city buildings–it really was in the middle of everything!
2. The Cathedral of Learning, the most iconic landmark at Pitt. Going to class there felt like going into Hogwarts, and the Christmas decorations were magical.
3. Being able to see the river and the skyline from football games at Heinz Field.
4. Singing “Sweet Caroline” after the third quarter of football games. The song will never be the same!
5. Getting into all of the amazing museums in Pittsburgh for free as a student–the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, the Andy Warhol Museum, The Mattress Factory…the list goes on!
6. The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh was, hands down, my favorite place in Pittsburgh. I loved wandering through the aisles of books between classes or sitting outside on the benches when it was nice out.
7. Exploring all the different neighborhoods in Pittsburgh. I credit my Pittsburgh Magazine internship to helping me learn about all of them quickly so that I could then take advantage of everything they had to offer. They’re all so unique! My favorites were Shadyside and Bloomfield.
8. Walnut Street in Shadyside. I lived just a few blocks away from this well-known shopping street, and stopped by almost once a week, just to wander around.
9. Pitt Ballet Club. It seems like any time in my life when I’ve felt out of place, I’ve ended up back in a ballet studio, and my year at Pitt was no exception. I loved getting to dance again for the first time since high school and the girls I met through ballet were the sweetest!
10. The view of the Pittsburgh skyline after going through the Fort Pitt Tunnel. It’s amazing. Anyone who has lived in Pittsburgh can probably relate to telling out-of-town visitors, “Wait for it….wait for it…” going through the tunnel in anticipation of the sudden view of the city all lit up!
I LOVED reading about what y’all loved about college in my last post, and I’d be so interested to know, did anything about your college experience not go as originally planned? That was definitely Pitt for me, but rather than a year “wasted,” I think it’s one of the times in my life that helped teach me to trust in God’s plan. Also, it’s where I started Something Pretty! :)