Dare You To Move:

by Kelli Campa
@KelliCampa

I love music! So I thought it would be fun to have all of my blog post titles to have a musical/lyrical theme. Dare You To Move – Switchfoot. 


Moving to a new city can be daunting, exciting, scary, and overall for better or worse a real adventure. Luckily, for me this is not my f
irst rodeo (big move). As a native Californian, I have lived most of my life in sunny, almost always good weather California. Right before I started high school I was uprooted from my California paradise to a suburban Texas small town. 

I struggled a lot from this move. Most of the students at my new high school had known each other since elementary school, and I was the outsider. I was depressed, agitated, and felt like I could not control anything – basically a typical teenager looking back. What saved me from this move was the eventual prospect of moving back to California for college. I had this idea in my head that if I could only get back to California I would be back to my “normal” self. 

Nevertheless, once high school graduation came I moved back to California to go to college. At California Lutheran University I thrived! I not only found people that got me and would become lifelong friends, but I also found my passion – helping students through their transition into college (more on this in a later post)! I was comfortable. Once I knew that I wanted to go to graduate school for Higher Education and Student Affairs I talked to mentors to help me navigate the graduate school process. This process was where I left my comfort zone and got one of the best pieces of advice from a mentor, “Graduate school is only two years of your life. You can really live anywhere for two years. You can always come back to California afterwards.” 

Because of this advice I only applied to graduate schools outside of California. I was scared, I was excited, but I was also ready for the next step in my journey. After interviewing at graduate schools I knew I had found my perfect fit with Iowa State University. Now being from the west coast, I had no idea where Iowa was on a map and was scared to death of snow, but the classes, assistantship, and demeanor I perceived from my interview there I knew it was the place I was meant to be at. The past two years at Iowa State have definitely been filled with ups and downs personally and professionally, but I would not have traded my experience for the world. From the mentorship I received from professors, supervisors, and cohort members, the support was unconditional. 

Now with the pattern I displayed earlier, you would think I would have landed back in California after my graduation this past May from my Masters program. However, I not only expanded myself personally and professionally from the move to Iowa, but also my curiosity. When the job search came this past spring I was fixated with the east coast. I have not spent much time on the east coast but I was certain that I was meant to be on the east coast after my graduation. Fate aligned and my intuition about the east coast was right when I accepted a position with the Department of Residential Life at Binghamton University (SUNY). I am still settling in from this move, but I cannot be more ecstatic about this position, university, and exploring my new environment! 

Sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone can be just what you needed, so for those who are still in the job search process, “I dare you to move.”

Student Affairs - the First Years

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