Thursday, September 6, 2012

Peoria, Illinois: HEART

Peoria, Illinois. Coordinates:  40.6936° N, 89.5889° W.  Population: 115,234. 
A city with a big heart and big dreams; filled with potential energy ready to be turned into kinetic energy.

For those who are unfamiliar, HERE is where Peoria is located: 

I am here to tell you why I love Peoria so much, why I am proud to have called it my home for the past 5.5 years 

The people.

Now, you may think that is very cliche of me to say, but it is true. In the short amount of time I have lived in the town and broke out of the "Bradley Bubble", I was embraced with open arms, instantly...and found a wonderful community of free thinkers. For a small to mid sized city, Peoria is filled with the arts and artists who want to MAKE A DIFFERENCE with their talents. Peoria is great for that. It is small enough where you feel like you can make a difference in the community with your art, but big enough where it can provide opportunities for you to do it. And you know what can create opportunities for yourself too! There are many twenty somethings who are starting their own businesses, starting their own theatre companies, working together to make music, create...and start revolutions. And this town embraces just have to find the community in which to surround yourself. They will support you and help you along the way....And in no way do I think this is unique to Peoria. There are many cities like this, many communities like this. I was fortunate enough to find it here. And am eternally grateful.

For those who go to Bradley, my advice to you is to EXPLORE, go down the hill, participate in local will be so pleasantly surprised.  There is so much to Peoria. Really. I promise you. I loved my time at Bradley. I met some really amazing people, connected with my life change was set into motion because of Bradley. But there is SO MUCH MORE TO THE COLLEGE EXPERIENCE. If you are going to be living somewhere for four, maybe five might as well make the very MOST out of it and maybe even leave it a better place because You were here. Experience new things, meet new friends, make new and unique memories. There are some really amazing things happening RIGHT HERE! 

No community is perfect. The grass will always seem greener, but we are right here right now. And really, the grass is green exactly where you water it. We are with the people around us for such a short amount of time...we HAVE to make the most out of it. This is a lesson I  had to learn...And I am so glad I did. Bradley and the Peoria community have given me the closest friends and fondest memories a girl could ever ask for. Thank you to everyone EVERYONE. I love you all very much!

"Better to be good and courageous and bold and make a difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Go out there with your passion and work hard at something. Change lives through art. Cherish your friends. Stay true to your principles. Live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved if you ever get the chance.
~One Day

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