The beauty of downtown McMinnville is often forgotten by students who are trapped inside the Linfield bubble. Professors and many others urge students to become involved in the McMinnville community, but too often students ignore the advice and rarely stray off campus.
As I walked down Third Street, strolled through the McMinnville Farmers Market and started an internship in the McMinnville community, I began to realize how important that advice is. The McMinnville community is incredibly welcoming and offers a chance for students to continue their well-rounded education outside of the classroom.
I too was stuck inside the Linfield bubble.
It almost comes naturally to spend the day in your dorm with your best friends, and even buying food is easily accessible on campus. Additionally, weekends are spent with friends and weekdays are spent in the classroom, so going off campus seems almost pointless. However, that is completely false.
By becoming more involved in the McMinnville community, students have the opportunity to network. We are constantly reminded that networking is crucial to enter today’s work force, and nowhere is better to start than here in McMinnville. Community members recognize the name and valuable education that is offered at Linfield. The community already has an established relationship with Linfield students. These people could become future bosses, friends and even references. Take the opportunity and use it to your advantage.
Additionally, graduate schools and employers look for students who are well-rounded and seek leadership outside of school. Being off-campus is also a great stress reliever, especially for underclassmen. Sometimes living in a small space with the same people every day can become exhausting and stressful. Volunteering in the community or visiting downtown can be a great opportunity to escape your everyday problems and take a break from extensive to-do lists.
I apologize if I am preaching about this topic too much, but it is something I wish I would have realized as a freshman. Forget the McMinnville “townie” stereotypes and embrace the community for the welcoming place it is. I challenge everyone who hasn’t done so already, to pop their Linfield bubble and make the most out of their time here. You will be happy that you did.
Alyssa Townsend / Opinion editor
Alyssa Townsend can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.