Students cite various reasons to leave Ohio

Brittany Moseley

Alyse Kimble has always dreamed of a life outside of Ohio. Whether it involves studying fashion design in New York or traveling through Europe, Kimble plans to leave “the heart of it all” after she graduates.

“I’ve never felt like I belonged here,” said Kimble, junior fashion design major. “Plus my major isn’t one that I can stay here for.”

She said many of her friends, including her boyfriend, want to stay in Ohio. However, Kimble isn’t the only one who wants to leave.

“Our office doesn’t track students after graduation,” said Kelly Stillwagon, career specialist at the Career Services Center. “However, we are witnessing more students with an interest to leave the state.”

Allen Cox, junior mathematics major, has already started looking at graduate schools outside of Ohio, including Columbia University and schools in California.

“After I graduate, it’s my last chance to see the world before getting tied down,” Cox said. “I have an urge to do some traveling, and I just want to leave.”

Many say they want to leave simply to see what other places have to offer.

“I don’t want to stay in one place my entire life,” said Emily Chaney, who will start at Kent State as a justice studies major next semester. “I want to travel and see what is out there.”

Kimble also wants to travel, and she will get the chance to leave Ohio for a bit when she takes classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology next semester.

She said once she returns to Ohio, the adjustment will be difficult at first because the way of life is different in Kent than New York City.

“I think Ohio is close-minded when it comes to change, and it’s hard to be individual,” Kimble said. “It’s so much quieter and slower here.”

Although Cox and Chaney plan on leaving, neither has completely ruled out returning to Ohio.

“I would come back, but only because all my family is here or because of my job,” Chaney said.

Cox said he can see himself coming back to Ohio, but he will go wherever his career takes him.

All those who want to leave may have different destinations, but they all agree it’s important for college students to see the world.

“I think a lot of (college students) feel that they have to stay in Ohio because they feel tied down,” Cox said. “But I think it would be almost necessary to see the rest of the country before they’re not able to, whether it’s due to family or career obligations.”

Kimble thinks it would be a mistake not to leave, even only temporarily.

“It’s so important to experience other cultures and to see what’s out there,” Kimble said.

Even though others don’t understand her desire to leave, Chaney isn’t making any plans to stay.

“I come from a small town, and they think I’m crazy for going places,” Chaney said. “But I think they’re crazy for staying.”

Contact features correspondent Brittany Moseley at [email protected].