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You’re Moving Where?

September 18, 2012

By Kate Sheeder, Corps Member Proudly Serving at Merrydale Elementary

“What are your post college plans, Kate?” asked every single person I knew throughout my last year in college.

Luckily, I had a post college plan that involved more than moving back home with my parents and waiting tables at my local Friendly’s. I would answer with confidence and with a smile on my face; “I’m doing City Year Baton Rouge.”

Every person I talked to was thrown off by my answer. City Year did not register with them, but I would argue my job was not the confusing part. People did not understand why I was moving to Baton Rouge.  To be completely honest, I didn’t know either.

I was born and raised in a small town in New Jersey approximately thirty minutes outside of Philadelphia. It’s also about an hour away from Seaside Beach, more famously known as the Jersey Shore. No, I don’t know Snooki.

Anyway, after graduating high school I moved to Washington, D.C. where I attended American University (GO EAGLES!). Clearly, my next logical move was to find a job in Baton Rouge. Right? Not exactly. I ended up applying to City Year Baton Rouge on a whim. City Year sounded like an amazing program and I wanted to move somewhere new. That was about all the logic I used in making my decision to apply to City Year’s location in Baton Rouge.

I have no family in Louisiana. Before I moved down here in July I had never even visited the state. My move to Louisiana is about as random as craving butternut squash soup in July (that’s the most random thing I could think of; bare with me). Everyone interested in my post-college plans had a reason to be confused about my move to Baton Rouge. It seemed completely random and impulsive.

However, I have been a part of the Baton Rouge community for almost three months and my move down here does not feel nearly as random. Baton Rouge has welcomed me with open arms.  From the friendly Louisianans I have encountered all over town to the delicious variety of food to the amazing eclectic events that happen across town, Baton Rouge has a ton to offer. Yes, it’s a small downtown compared to D.C. Yes, the pace is much slower here than it is back in New Jersey. Yes, it’s still shorts and tank top weather whereas all my friends in the Northeast will soon be bundling up in scarves, sweaters and boots. Despite these changes, Baton Rouge is quickly becoming home for me. The bugs aren’t as scary as they were when I first moved in. “Y’all” and “ma’am” are quickly integrating themselves into my vocabulary. I rock purple and gold more than I ever have before.

While I still have until at least May to get to know more about Baton Rouge, I can already tell that this city is not as random as I initially believed. Red Stick you’ve really grown on me. Now I just need Snooki to make a guest appearance. Jokes.


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