Haven’t run out of steam for National Blog Posting Month quite yet! Today I continue down the residential path to the place I ended up hanging my graduation cap for a couple of years: Norfolk, Virginia.
After departing Michigan, I moved back in with my parents for a bit and interned for the now-defunct PR firm Coleman & Pellet Inc. (I was there long enough to be dubbed a “resident” rather than “intern,” but that’s a story for another day). A few graduate schools had accepted me following Central Michigan, but they had been too late for fall matriculation. My mother wisely advised me to defer their acceptances, “just in case.”
It came down to Memphis State University (now known as the University of Memphis) and Old Dominion University. Obiously, I chose the latter, otherwise this would be titled Residential Reminiscences 2: Tennessee.
I had an entirely different attitude, and hence experience, with Virginia. While I went to Michigan with the expectation of something of a continuation of my undergrad days, my thought in Virginia was that I’d concentrate on academics, and to heck with socializing. I took out student loans, got myself an on-campus job in the reference library, and went to work.
It paid off. I solidified lasting online friendships I’d cultivated from Michigan, spent occasional weekends visiting them or friends in Delaware (since I was finally close enough), and never much delved beyond friendly acquaintance with anyone in Virginia (to the point that I turned down invitations not infrequently). It was exactly what I needed; I can honestly say I had a great time at Old Dominion, and I learned a lot.
Also, I really loved the area. I could (and occasionally did) take a 15-minute drive to Virginia Beach and just walk alongside the water. Williamsburg was a mere 40 minutes away, and I’d occasionally drive there, though my love for that town didn’t come till later. I was comfortable in Norfolk. It felt like home, which Michigan never did.