The moment I said goodbye to my trusty journey mates (parents) for the last time this summer and realized I was in a state I had never been before, with no knowledge of how to get anywhere or of anyone other than my best friend, was a moment I will never forget.
As I plugged the address of my new home into the omniscient Google Maps and blasted The Lumineers, I stared at the glowing city lights and began the journey of a Utah summer.
Taking the leap to intern in a new state with completely fresh experiences is something I would recommend to everyone. The butterflies I felt in my stomach as I realized the large amount of bills ahead and small amount of income, or the clenched chest that comes from being completely outside of your comfort zone is one of the healthiest and most necessary forms of anxiety for a young professional.
After all, people do not enter the journalism and public relations field for constant security.
Fast forward to about a week and a half later, and I found a part-time job and went to one of the coolest parts of the Great Salt Lake State with an adventurous fellow intern, who would later become one of the three best friends of my summer.
I would like to think I have grown in these summer months. With each passing week, I learned how to create more and more content for clients in a timely fashion, I developed the ability to hike actual mountains and I fell in love with national parks. Between Pittsburgh, Athens and Utah, I am now in a constant state of confusion regarding where I belong. But, I strangely would not want it any other way.
And, let me share a little secret. That feeling of a clenched chest will meet its match. It will feel the excitement of finding friends who you are sad to leave; and, it will feel the pride of figuring out how to successfully survive in a new city for a few months.
So, say yes. Gather up your belongings, pack them in your car and head across the country. I will always be grateful for taking this leap of faith and interning in a completely unfamiliar state. I may have learned a lot about Utah, including its poor drivers, but I have certainly learned more about myself.
Utah, I love you.
Alyssa Murtagh is a junior strategic communication major and our VP of Member Relations. Follow the rest of her Utah journey on Twitter @alyssamurt.