Falling Back in Love with Home

Crown Hill Park in December 2023. Photo by Maddie Haydon.

With my sights set on a college degree and an interest in a new environment, I moved from Wheat Ridge to Starkville, Mississippi in 2022. While the city may be foreign to you, it is mostly known as the city in which Mississippi State University (MSU) resides and is the core reason I moved there.

Before moving away, I would have told you with confidence that my decision to pursue higher education in Starkville was almost entirely based on the notion that I have exhausted all that Wheat Ridge has to offer, after spending my whole life there. After moving away, though, I found myself booking more flights back to Denver International Airport than I would like to admit. 

Most recently, I spent my spring break in Wheat Ridge. My family accounts for a substantial portion of my frequent flying, but it also comes down to a major change in the way I now view and appreciate Wheat Ridge. After moving, I was struck with the realization that as confident as I was, my prior belief about seeing and experiencing everything was wrong. I find it funny that a thought process that was once “I have seen and done it all here” has developed into “when I go home, I am going to do as much as I have time for.” A place I was bored with ended up being the place I go to feel fulfilled.

A few assumptions you may have made about me from reading this are: I have a low tolerance for boredom, and I am on a college budget. Those are both correct! Perhaps that is why I adore Wheat Ridge so much. I love that when I want to be frugal, but still want to do something, I can head over to Crown Hill Park or the Greenbelt for a walk. I love that when I have some money to spend, I can go to my favorite spot, Wolf + Wildflower, to snack, sip on wine, and watch the mountains out of the window. Wheat Ridge allows me to have a full itinerary whether I decide to go for an outdoors-oriented day or if I go with an urban atmosphere. 

I do recognize that most cities have walking trails and awesome dining spots, but Wheat Ridge

distinguishes itself by offering a comforting sense of community as well as landscapes that are presented well throughout each season. My time in Starkville is nothing short of amazing. It has and continues to be an enriching privilege to spend time in a new place while gaining insights that help me understand and appreciate the special qualities that Wheat Ridge holds.

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