Out-of-State Shockers: Kaylan Richardson

Kaylan RichardsonPhoto courtesy of Kaylan Richardson

Going to college is a big transition for anyone, but for out-of-state students, choosing to go away for school brings its own unique challenges. But those challenges bring huge rewards too.

When I was originally looking for colleges to attend my original plan was to stay in my home state of Missouri and commute to a local community college or take classes at home. I’ve always been a big homebody and liked the familiarity and comfort of my normal day-to-day life. After some talking with people close to me, I decided to challenge myself and look at out-of-state schools. Knowing that I was going to study education I had made a checklist of things I wanted to have during my time at college: I wanted to get into the classroom before I student taught, I wanted the staff and professors to care about my education just as much as I do and I wanted to be able to find like-minded people who I could form connections with.

Touring Wichita State checked all my boxes, even the ones I didn’t know I had such as having my own bedroom in the dorms on campus, living on the same floor as other students in my academic college, and even having a variety of places to hang out or grab a bite to eat within walking distance from my dorm room! The drive from my parent’s house to campus is roughly three hours, so it’s the perfect distance where it’s close enough to go home on a weekend, but far enough away where I still have my own space and I’m still experiencing what it’s like to be an independent person.

Sophie Walter and Kaylan RichardsonPhoto courtesy of Kaylan Richardson
Student Ambassadors Sophie Walter and Kaylan Richardson at the 2023 SAS Formal.


Moving to a different state can be nerve-racking at first, but I quickly realized that it was a fresh start to become the person I want to be. I didn’t have a narrative following me around from the people I just spent 18 years of my life with in high school. The part that made me the most nervous though was the fact that I didn’t know anyone, I wasn’t sure if I’d even make friends. Joining student organizations was the quickest way that I made those lifelong connections and some of the best friendships I have today. I joined the Student Ambassador Society and instantly felt that it was where I belonged, I found people who were passionate about the same things that I was. I also found a home with some on-campus jobs. I work as a Shocker Navigator where I give tours to prospective students and get to share everything, I love about Wichita State. I also work in the Office of Admissions with the Events and Marketing team where I get to work alongside admissions staff applying what I’m learning from my marketing minor in the workforce. All of these have enabled me to easily meet new people who quickly became my favorite people on earth.

Coming to Wichita State was the best decision I could have made for myself, and I think it’s a great opportunity for anyone to take! There are so many resources on campus to help through the transition process and during the rest of your college career. Take a deep breath and enjoy the college search process, it may seem stressful at first, but it’s truly an exciting and rewarding process!


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