When Ren Crudele was looking into colleges, she couldn't shake the idea that she wanted to explore something beyond her home state of Illinois.
After doing some research, she decided to visit CMU's campus and get an inside look into life at Central. What she found was a warm, welcoming community where she felt at home.
"I decided to come to CMU because it was like the best of all worlds. I got to explore a new state, it was a perfectly sized campus with endless opportunities that appealed to me, and there was a great community," said Ren.
While stepping out of her comfort zone so far from home was a daunting idea at times, Ren spent her first year at CMU exploring and discovering organizations, communities and places she could call her own.
"My favorite part about CMU is all the diverse organizations on campus and the opportunities every day to learn and grow," she said.
Her first semester on campus, Ren struggled with being so far from her family and hometown. But she soon found a supportive network of faculty, staff and students to help her transition.
"Something that made me feel at home, and continues to, is the constant support from faculty and students alike. There's always someone who wants to see you better yourself and encourage you in that process."
And her advice to any student looking to attend college out of state?
"My best advice for students considering out-of-state schooling is just to try it. Take that leap of faith out of your comfort zone because it could be the best thing that ever happened to you. Also, visit the school. You can get a great sense of the environment just by discovering campus for a day."