What I’ll miss about Kansas: a reflection from the crossroad of my life

Abby Smith, Graphic Design Editor

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Many of us are guilty of it: complaining about various ‘faults’ of living in the very center of America. The summers are hot, humid and bug-filled. Boredom is easy to find as you have exhausted all of the local attractions. The land is flat一painfully flat, and full of farmland and stinky cows.

For some, these qualities put a damper on living in Kansas. They definitely did for me. As an antsy teenager who always wants to be on the move, the suburbs of Johnson County seemed like the most boring place on earth.

It wasn’t until recently, however, that I have been struck with a deep-founded appreciation for the state and area that we are lucky to call home. After committing to a college in downtown Chicago, I have come to realize some of the things I have taken for granted一things I will miss when I am gone next year. I hope that in sharing them, others in my former position will begin to see our home in a different light.

For those like me who love busyness, we are extremely lucky to live only half an hour away from Kansas City. The city has been booming in recent years with an amazing emerging arts and music scene. Things like First Fridays in the Crossroads bring the entire community together in support for the arts, and while the city is big, the friendliness displayed by every vendor and attendee gives KC the affectionate feel of a small town. Even if it’s not the first Friday of the month, there is always something to do downtown and in the surrounding areas: the Nelson-Atkins museum is incredible, the Country Club Plaza always has attractions and Westport has an artsy vibe to satisfy your inner hipster.

As for the areas a little closer to home, the beautiful nature in Johnson County is inspiring on a warm spring day. I will miss Shawnee Mission Park dearly, with my favorite spot to read and draw being on the docks on the marina. The trails make you forget you are only a few minutes away from roads and housing, and they make you feel as if you are immersed in the Kansan wilderness. I will miss the bountiful nature Kansas has to offer, along with the many trees that are perfect for relaxing in a hammock.

In addition, I will miss the welcoming attitude of Kansas Citians. The stereotype of friendly midwesterners is alive in Johnson County, and I know this character will be missed when I am living in a large, daunting city. Not only will I miss friends and family that live nearby, but I will miss the overall society of people that call Kansas home.

Ultimately, the inevitability of my next chapter in life has opened me up to positives I had previously overlooked. While I am excited to move and start life anew, I know I will always call the Kansas City area home.