MIHEC Student Profile: Madison (Maddie) Dolliff

Going off to the University of Iowa was a big step, and it was good practice for learning how to live with other adults. I wanted to live on my own, with roommates my own age. The best memories I have from college involve going out with friends from different parts of campus. We would pick a different restaurant each week and spend the whole time talking and laughing. Many of my friends from college are still friends today, and we go back for homecoming every year.

I met some of those friends as part of UI REACH (Realizing Educational and Career Hopes), a transition program within the UI College of Education. Through that program, I worked in a hospital administrative office, doing filing and office work. I didn’t like it at all, but it was good because it taught me that I want to work in places where I can be social and interact with people during the day.

I’m so glad I went to college. When I first got there, I walked around to get to know where everything was. I lost my keys that first day, so I had to figure out what to do. It was a little scary, but it all worked out. My family says I’ve become much more outgoing and more of an advocate for myself since college. I’ve taken several airplane trips by myself in the last few years.

Since graduating a couple of years ago, I live independently with a roommate in Victoria, Minnesota, and work at a grocery store. I bag groceries and talk with customers. The store is near where I grew up, so when I started, I already knew a lot of the customers. My fifth-grade teacher is a regular, and I see a lot of other people I’ve known my whole life.

I would encourage people to go to college because it’s good to live alone, without your parents.