Let me begin by saying I’m not the typical college student. I just haven’t had the average college experience. For one, I’m a transfer student. After graduating high school in 2006, I spent my first year of college at another institution, before transferring to Greensburg’s Seton Hill University in 2007. Once enrolled at SHU, I spent my first year commuting 35 minutes from Blairsville and then moved into an off-campus apartment in Greensburg.
Potentially, my less-than-average college experience could be something to lament over. Transferring, commuting and living off-campus have definitely posed barriers to the campus assimilation and friend-making processes. Slowly but surely, though, I overcame these barriers and carved my own college niche. In whatever euphemism you want to use, I’ve enjoyed dancing to my own tune, traveling my own path, building my own bridge – whatever – throughout my college years. And I think Greensburg played a large part in that experience.
Greensburg is a college town without being a “college town.” It is home to not only SHU, but to PITT at Greensburgand Triangle Tech, and Westmoreland County Community College is in nearby Youngwood. Given its proximity to so many schools, Greensburg has its fair share of college-friendly bars, restaurants, coffee shops, tanning salons and tattoo shops. These businesses certainly affirm Greensburg’s college identity, and moreover, they establish that identity an important, vital aspect of the City. But what I found refreshing as an nontraditional student is that Greensburg isn’t completely defined by these elements. The true heart and soul of the City, I think, extends beyond the college scene and incorporates the interests of several ages, backgrounds and walks-of-life.
In retrospect, I guess I’ve just been an nontraditional college kid living in an nontraditional college town – and it’s been a perfect match for me. But don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with the typical, average or traditional. In my college experience, though, things just haven’t gone that way.
Then again, what or who is really traditional or average? We’re all just people, all different, unique and definitely un-average in our own way. My time in Greensburg, at Seton Hill, has solidified that perspective in me. And ultimately, Greensburg’s inclusive, eclectic nature has not only helped me make the most of the past three years, it has given me a place to call home as a young adult.