Dear Medina, OH,
I have spent all of my 18 years on earth living in our beautiful town. I have watched a dozen concerts in the Gazebo, sang outside of businesses on the square, attended classes at Heritage, Claggett and the high school, made friends in the grocery stores and in the parks and in the front yards of twenty-some houses. I truly believe that I would not be the person I am today without the support of Medina and it's people.
It's so incredible to me how a place with a population of almost 27,000 and a high school of 2,500 can feel so close knit and homey. No matter where I go around town, I am guaranteed to see at least 5 people I know on the way there or at my destination. The opportunities given to me at the high school, most importantly band and choir, have shaped my choices in career, college, likes and pet peeves. And the people of the community have held me up in the worst of time and cheered me on when I felt like I would fail.
Feeling at home was my number one priority when choosing where I wanted to go for school. To me, this meant finding a place with the same type of physical features, like the multitude of trees and the parks and the hiking trails, and the same or more opportunities, from the educational choices to the opportunities for open mics. I needed a place that was like my big-little hometown, but more then that I needed to find the family feel I got from there.
There is some benefit to going to school with other people from home. It's hard to fully explain it to people, what it was like growing up in Medina, and we sometimes dwell on the bad; the concrete roads and parking lots riddled with potholes, the 'lack of things to do' that usually resolved with a trip to Target, places that went out of business, watermain breaks all to often. But reminiscing about the good times, the best elementary teachers and playing the tank on the square, eating Lemonberry and Friday night football games, makes it easier to focus on the best parts to tell people.
Moving to college was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, not just because I had to leave my family, but also because I had to leave the place where I grew up. I'm so proud to call Medina my home!
Lead Image Credit: Pamela Wagner