By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

Back Within These Walls: From Child to Student

Not many children grow up playing tag in the hallways and classrooms of universities. I did and I did it here at CWU. 

As a child, my parents worked at CWU so I spent four years in different buildings across campus. I remember the old SURC building and when they closed it to build the current one in 2005 or 2006. There are mammoth bone casts in Dean Hall from a site I visited when I was 10 or 11. The round hallway of Grupe Conference Center was my own racetrack.

A girls in stem day event on campus fostered my love for trying new things. On the lawn of the Science building, I built a roof truss that I made my dad carry to the car. To me, it was a trophy three times my size. I see the spot I built the truss every day as I walk into my classes. 

Every spring, my parents and the college students they worked with would run a bbq stand at the college rodeo held at the fairgrounds. While adults were preparing the stand for the day, my sisters and I would get to ride in the tractor that leveled the field and “help.”

My parents moved the family around for work so I don’t have many places that feel like home. But some of my favorite years of growing up were in Ellensburg and being on campus. I loved growing up around college students. It was like I had countless big brothers and sisters. As the oldest kid in my family, I loved having “big kids” spoil me and do things with me. 

There’s a deep sense of familiarity and home at CWU for me. The older buildings with their distinct brick color immediately flood my mind with memories of my childhood. The sense of community I had on campus as a child has changed in what it looks like but not how it feels. 

I have new experiences in these same places. I know what I want to do professionally. Here at CWU is where I figured it out. I have made friendships that feel like we’ve been friends for years instead of the mere months we’ve known one another. Professors have become mentors that are helping me reach my academic and professional goals. 

College has been something I’ve loved as an experience. It’s easy to find people who like what you like when y’all are in classes about it. You have an automatic foundation to build off of. The peers in class have become the people I hang out with in my free time.

Going to events and venues as an adult with friends after going as a child with my parents is a full circle moment that is fun for me. I know the places that have been around since I was a kid and have nostalgia at Winegar’s and Fred Meyer. 

I work on campus at the Museum of Culture & Environment and get to see people “ooo” and “awe” over the mammoth bone casts. Since I want to work in museums after I graduate, it’s another full circle moment to be working at a museum and having seen the site where the mammoth bone casts come from is amazing. 

It’s been 20 years since I first arrived on campus and it will always be home.

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