College is a place where many different people do many different things all in one place. Whether you party hard or study hard, conquer the outdoors or command the internet, it’s pretty easy to say that most people make the most out of college. However, it’s easy to forget about the surroundings of this university, the vibrant city of Bozeman.
Everyday, when I look out around me and I see all of the mountains and the sprawling terrain, I am reminded how different this city is and how lucky we are to be here each and every day. When I look up at night and see millions of stars shining bright, I am reminded exactly why this was named “Big Sky Country”, all around us is beauty and happiness, in both manmade structures and nature.
A walk through the streets in the heart of Bozeman will show you all varieties of homes: some modern, some colonial, some historical, some with bright colors and others with sculpture gardens. You’ll see people completely demolishing their homes to build new ones; something you don’t see very often in other cities. A drive through town is enough to put me at rest and to make me happy.
If you were to venture out to the newer parts of town, you’ll see amazing parks and streets, lined not with boxes with windows, but with curves and lines and architecture that make you jealous of the people who live there. Just go to the public library and you’ll see for yourself how marvelous all of the architecture is. Even in the “bad part” of town, there are no broken windows. Abandoned warehouses look representable, and business flourishes. We are all used to walking by those buildings on campus that are lackluster, and it’s easy to generalize this to the rest of the city. This is wrong; Bozeman is beautiful. You just need to go out and look at it.
What does all of this mean? Why is it so great that houses are new, and that crime is low? It means that Bozeman’s economy is flourishing, that Bozeman’s citizens don’t settle for mediocrity, but it mostly means that never, in all of your travels, will you come across a city similar to Bozeman. The standard of living here is something unparallel to most of America. With parks everywhere, fascinating views and a great food scene, most people would love to live here. And they do. People from all walks of life come to Bozeman. Passersby end up returning for good, and word is spreading. They say Montana is full, but it’s far from it. Montana is the perfect state to settle down in and live in because of all of the friendly people and the great city that is Bozeman. Don’t be mad when people move in. Don’t say “We don’t want you here,” or that “Montana is full, go to North Dakota.” Instead, say “Welcome to Montana, greatest state around!” Show them around and make friends. Let them also enjoy this wonderful city.
As someone who has lived in six cities all over the United States, from Santa Barbara, California to Reston, Virginia to St. Petersburg, Florida, I can tell you that you have something special here. Not just a cheap college and good skiing, but one of the finest towns in the United States. So don’t just go to parties and eat at McDonalds for four years; go out and explore. Take a lovely drive around town. Go and hike up mountains or down valleys. Visit parks. Go for a jog around town instead of on a treadmill. Make it a promise to yourself to make the most of Bozeman and appreciate it for what it’s worth, not just a place where you went to college.