College Spotlight: University of Minnesota Morris
Freshman Year Update
By Emily Higgins
CEO Annie Danielson said, “Home is where your story begins.” In my opinion, that is so important to remember when you choose your school. You’re starting your own story, away from your parents, away from your home. This story is all yours, and finding that place that fits your story is so immensely important. I, for some unknown and crazy reason, decided to visit almost 30 colleges before I chose my school: University of Minnesota Morris. The funny thing is, I never expected to want to go to somewhere in the Midwest, let alone within the state I live in. In fact, I was going across the country. You can ask anyone who knew me. I was headed to the East Coast. I was escaping the Midwest for the big cities, and I visited a lot of schools out there, too. Everything changed for me when I visited Morris, though.
Morris was just this small school. Smaller, even, than my high school which had about 3600 people (Eden Prairie High School). Morris has about 1900 students. It’s small to me. It was a liberal arts school in a public college system. My parents had to force me to visit. I was convinced I wouldn’t like it. It was a small school, in a small town, with NOTHING around, on a prairie. I would smell cow poop all day, and I would never be able to function. I mean, the closest Target was an hour away…and I didn’t have a car. This is what was racing through my head in my car ride to Morris. That was my first of, eventually, three visits to Morris before I moved in. I got into town and saw a cute, antique looking theater. It had the huge marquee displaying the two movies that played there every week. All of downtown Morris was like stepping back in time. It was so petite but, at the same time, welcoming. You just felt comfortable there. You could go to Don’s Café for famous grilled cheese and malts or Old No. 1 for a great bar and grill. If you wanted to go on a date, take them to Bello Cucina. Morris had everything you needed, just not in the big scale I was so used to.
The town wasn’t the only amazing part, though. The college was just perfect. At Morris, there is this odd sense of community that is, honestly, not at any other college I have visited or heard of. People from other colleges have even pointed it out to us. We are just a family. We are all together as one big family, and you’re accepted just the way you are. Sure, it sounds cheesy, but think about it. You don’t have to change a single thing and you will fit in. The professors love their students and want them to succeed. I have had health issues this year, and every one of my professors offered to help me with academic progress and wanted me to reach my full potential. At Morris, everyone, students and faculty, want you to go as far as you possibly can, and they aid you in doing that. You’re part of a family of 2000, and you are loved and cared for. The professors will even invite you to their houses, sometimes, for dinner. You can do and be anything you want in Morris from a social service lawyer to a sports trainer. I know people reaching all of those goals here at Morris. Morris is my home, and my story is just beginning here. I can’t wait to see what the contents of my story will be.