By Briana Parker
Flagstaff, Arizona is a place like no other. Half of the year it’s covered in snow, and the other is the most beautiful weather you could ever imagine. Flagstaff takes a piece of your heart with the beauty that surrounds it.
I remember the first time I stepped foot in Flagstaff, I was amazed. It was gorgeous. As a Southern California native, the only time I had ever seen snow was on trips to Big Bear.
Yet, here it was, April and there was snow on the ground. In Arizona. It was mind blowing.
I was in Flagstaff to look at Northern Arizona University. I had been accepted to multiple schools, NAU being one of them and was trying to figure out where I wanted to go. I started the trip very wary of Flagstaff, and by the end of the three or four days, I knew that it was the place I wanted to call home for college.
Flag and I had some tough time over the five years that I lived there. There were times when I hated the weather, I hated not being able to wear sandals and shorts year round. But I also grew to love how gorgeous the town got after a fresh snowfall.
I never expected to fall in love with winter the way that I did.
I even still loved it when it decided to snow so much at the end of February that classes were canceled because no one could get to campus because of black ice. I even loved it when it decided to snow at graduation, in May!
As brutal as the winters were for a California girl, I don’t think I’ll ever find another place like Flag. In five years, it gave me some of the best friends, best memories, and unforgettable experiences.
I found my passion in Flag. I found myself in Flag. And I found my best friends in Flag. There will probably never be another time in my life when my best friends are right down the street from me and are always down for random adventures.
I’ll never find another place that has that same small town feel that Flag does. The cute festivals, adorable Downtown, the friendliness of the people.
When you start looking at places to go to college, you always hear that wherever you end up will shape your life, but I never really believed it. Flag did change me, and it will always have a little piece of my heart.
I used to be so adamant that I could never live anywhere other than Southern California. I couldn’t live without beaches, year round summer, or the lifestyle that comes with Southern California.
But now that I’m back after graduating, I find myself constantly wishing that I was back in Flag. I miss the winters, I miss the mountain lifestyle. I miss home.