Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Thank You, Greenville

Although I only moved from Greenville a week ago, I've known that this move was coming since very early on in the summer. While it was a tricky decision, I knew it was the right choice for me for a number of reasons.

For starters, I was tired of going home being an event. Living in a city eight hours from Fairhope (the place where I grew up and still technically considered to be home) wasn't too much of a problem until I wanted to be at home for a weekend. An eight-hour drive just doesn't make sense for a weekend meaning that anytime I did make it home to Fairhope a long drive or flight was involved and I needed an excuse to stay for more than two full days for it to feel worthwhile. I've never considered myself to be a homebody but after a while not having the option to go home for a weekend got kind of tiring.

Another reason that it made sense to leave Greenville in pursuit of a different city came with my change in jobs. If you haven't read this post, then you may have missed that I'm not teaching this year and am instead pursuing an entirely different industry. While Greenville, South Carolina is constantly growing and has found itself topping some major publications list of best up and coming cities, it hasn't fully developed in the realm that interests me most. Give it three or four years, and I am sure Greenville will be booming with different job opportunities, but as I was searching, it was rare for me to find something that truly interested me.

Fortunately, I found a city that allowed me to be a little bit closer to home and offered a number of job opportunities that interested me. Enter Birmingham. In this post, I share a bit more about where I'm living in Birmingham and in this one I share a bit about what I will be doing there, but in short, I am very excited. Although, this excitement doesn't come without a bit of sadness to leave Greenville. So before my South Carolina chapter is closed for now I figured a few thank yous are in order!

For Furman

Without Furman, I am not sure I ever would have "discovered" all that Greenville has to offer. I am so lucky to have been able to attend my top choice school not only for undergrad but also for a year-long graduate program as well. Although Furman is a lot smaller than schools that most people seem to want to choose for college, I feel as though I was able to take advantage of the small class size. Living on campus all four years and being to take on leadership roles and gain experiences through that is something I'll be forever thankful for Furman for.

For Friends

I tend to get questions all the time about how to make friends after college and quite honestly I have no idea. So many of my friends this past year were friends from college who I was able to get close to since we did choose to stick around for our masters. We joked that most of our larger friend group was made up of Furman people that we didn't necessarily hang out with during undergrad but instead were "leftover" in Greenville. From kickball to Drive games to housewarming parties, I am thrilled to have been able to have so many great people to surround myself with this past year.

I can't leave the friend category to only those around during post-grad since Greenville brought me many of my lifelong friends while in college. I was lucky enough to have some of the best roommates turned friends who made my time in Greenville that much more fun! Luckily, these are friends that I can pick up the phone and talk to frequently without ever really feeling like we are that far away.

For Food

Greenville has become quite well known for their food scene as of late. I am not concerned about the food scene in Birmingham in the slightest (especially considering the city as a whole is larger), but there will be places that I miss. From discovering what Cookout was freshman year to late night bagels at Sully's and Sunday night burgers at Halls, I have some great staples that will need to be replaced. If you have any food favorites in Birmingham that you want to share with me, I am ALL ears!

For Familiarity 

I think that the most notable thing that Greenville provided me with this past year was familiarity. The adjustment into the real world isn't all that easy, or at least it wasn't for me. Learning to balance a new job with grad school among other things came with its fair share of stress. I am very glad that I didn't have to get the lay of the land in a new city on top of those other unique experiences. Having Furman, friends, and yes, even food that I knew in a city I had already spent four years in was extremely comfortable. Shockingly enough, I think discovering a new city is what I am most excited about for Birmingham. It is incredible how much can change in a year!

Lucky for me, Greenville is an easy four-hour drive from Birmingham and with lots of people still there to visit, I'll be back before I know it! 

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