Guest Columnist: Zachary Nullmeyer
I love Wartburg College, so I had mixed emotions about leaving it for an entire semester to go to Wartburg West. I was going to be away from my friends, away from my routine and set to miss an entire season of track and field. I always struggle with stepping outside of my comfort zone to try new things and I know that I am not alone. Change is hard. Would I be lonely? Would I want to go home? How could I move away from Nestle smells, chubby squirrels and those perfect Saturday morning Mensa waffles?
After being here for one month, the only complaint I have is that it is going by too fast! I am already thinking about how hard it is going to be to go back home. The thrill of adventure can be enticing and Denver has appeased my appetite. Every day is something totally new. I could live here for a decade and still be blown away.
I thought about describing one or two of my favorite experiences here so far, but that wouldn’t quite do this experience justice. Denver is way too diverse to narrow down. Instead, I present you a rapid-fire paragraph of the most memorable sights, sounds, smells, and tastes:
Soaring down a sun-kissed slope on my skis. Sipping a coffee at the old-fashioned Union Station as travelers whiz in and out. Walking to work every day in the shadows of 14,000 feet tall mountains. Clapping as a cowboy desperately tries to hang onto his bull at the rodeo. Feeling emotional as the actors from the Tony Award-winning play Fun Home take their bows and thank the audience. Biting into the New York style pizza and garlic knots from an award-winning local restaurant… and the list goes on.
The other equally important aspect of Wartburg West is what it has taught me. College is great at teaching us students not only about our field of study, but about our calling and our values. Wartburg West has accelerated that process. Wartburg West has made all of the things I’ve read in textbooks seem more real. Reading about homelessness can make someone educated, but seeing homeless people every day and listening to an employee at a food pantry gives perspective. The big city is a melting pot of voices. Some things have been hard to learn and difficult to talk about, but they made me a better person and I treasure those experiences.
So my semester in the Mile High City continues, and so much is still ahead. I already can tell that I will be a slightly different person next time I take a step on the Wartburg campus, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.