Top Row: Kaylin Backhaus, Taylor Rubink, Emma Muehlberg, Lacey Ellingson, Rachel Zigler. Middle Row: Brianna Maciej, Alli Iverson, Linzie Dobbs, Courtney Harbeck, Emily Otto, Marissa Berg. Bottom Row: Allison Maass, Maggie Rathbun. (Submitted photo.)
Coming home for the first winter break of their freshman year of college, seventeen girls got together to celebrate Christmas and catch up. Ever since the acceptance letter came in the mail they’ve been waiting patiently to leave their hometown of Big Lake and start the next chapter of their lives at college. Even though their friends and family will be missed, some were surprised at the little things about Big Lake that they missed. “Coborns!”, Megan Chuba exclaimed at first and everyone seemed to agree. Having a grocery store close by where the employees and people shopping there are familiar was definitely something everyone took for granted. All of the girls really seemed to miss their bed, especially Lacey Ellingson. But it’s not just their bed, but waking up in the same bed and having basically the same routine over the past 18 years. “The familiarity and knowing what comes next”, is something Emma Muehlberg missed. You have to start a whole new routine in college, which made Linzie Dobbs think about her old routine here in Big Lake and miss it. Going to Big Lake High School, Friday night football games, competing in sports, school dances, and hanging out with friends all summer long are all things a part of most Big Lake kids routines. You don’t think about it until you leave but all of these things are greatly missed when the time comes again to go to high school football games and that’s part of your old life. You realize how much you really enjoyed it year after year. “I miss being able to look around Big Lake and thinking of all the memories I had in those places.” said Linzie Dobbs. College is a place to make new memories, but that doesn’t mean all of the old ones don’t matter anymore. For most of the girls they moved to a much bigger city than Big Lake, and the small town life was definitely missed. . “I missed living in a town where you know people.” said Kaylin Backhaus. Driving around knowing where you’re going and seeing friendly, familiar faces when you get there is something everyone missed having. Everyone might not personally know the employees at the Holiday gas station but it’s nice to recognize them when you walk in. Rachel Zigler said it well when she simply stated that overall, she missed the people. It’s not the beach or the grocery store that really makes our town of Big Lake so great, it’s the people who live there that make it special. This can include your friends and family, your neighbors, or the people you see every day when you stop in to get your daily cup of coffee at Caribou. When someone leaves Big Lake for the first time they can’t help but be excited, but you’re always going to remember the place where you grew up and the people you got to share it with. Emily Otto, Maggie Rathbun, and Taylor Rubink all attend University of North Dakota. Kaylin Backhaus and Marissa Berg live in Duluth and go to the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Close to home are Alli Iverson and Brianna Maciej at St. Cloud State University. Living in Wisconsin is Lacey Ellingson at University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse and Linzie Dobbs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Emma Mueghlberg attends Winona State University. Lastly, living the furthest away, is Rachel Zigler and she goes to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado. The author, Allison Maass, attends the Univ. of Minnesota - T.C. Campus.