350.5 miles later

Switching homes from Missouri to Illinois to Iowa, Sarah Callanan ‘21 experiences it all.

Sarah+Callanan+%E2%80%9821%2C+second+from+the+right%2C+takes+a+photo+with+her+best+friends.+
Sarah Callanan ‘21, second from the right, takes a photo with her best friends.

Sarah Callanan ‘21, second from the right, takes a photo with her best friends.

Sarah Callanan ‘21, second from the right, takes a photo with her best friends.

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Imagine living in your most favorite place ever and you’re living your best life. All of a sudden, your parents tell you it’s time to move to a whole new place. As you pack up your boxes with feelings of melancholy, knowing that you will be leaving a lot behind, you wonder what life will be like in that whole new destination. Five years later, you repeat. For Sarah Callanan ‘21, moving is a part of her life routine.

Callanan has lived in Chesterfield, Missouri, which is just outside of St. Louis, and Burr Ridge, Illinois, which is just outside of Chicago. She has multiple experiences with moving, having moved twice in 15 years.

Sarah Callanan smiles for a childhood photo taken in Missouri.

“For both of the times we moved, it was for my dad’s job,” Callanan said. “He worked at FOX in Missouri, and when we moved to Chicago, he worked at the WGN-TV there. Now he works at FOX and CBS.” Though this happens to be a routine for Callanan, she said, “My parents don’t really want to move since it’s kind of hard to adapt to a new high school.”

Sarah Callanan leaves for school in Missouri.

While she lived in her previous destinations, Callanan said, “We went to Chicago a few times and to St. Louis for baseball games.” Considering the fact that both cities consist of major league baseball teams, Callanan said, “I’m usually a Cardinals fan, but my house is very divided. My dad is a Cardinals fan and my mom is a Cubs fan. If we ever go to a Cubs game, I’ll cheer for the Cubs unless it’s against the Cardinals.”

Feelings of sadness took place when she had to move from Missouri to Illinois. Missouri is an amazing place for young people, especially children, and the community is spectacular. So when the time came for Callanan and her family to move to Illinois, she was sad to know what she would be leaving behind. “I really loved our Missouri house so much. I had so many amazing memories there.”

I really loved our Missouri house so much. I had so many amazing memories there.”

— Sarah Callanan ‘21

Though Callanan favored Missouri over Illinois, she enjoyed many aspects of Illinois as well. “I really loved the Six Flags. And my best friend lived next door so we would always go over, ring the doorbell, and ask ‘hey you want to hang out?’ It was really convenient.”

Sarah Callanan sits on the couch of her Illinois home with her dog, Mickey.

When the time came for Callanan and her family to move, she wasn’t ready at first. One fond memory Callanan has from the moving experience is when she moved from Missouri to Illinois. “The day we moved in, I got so sick and so did my brother. We just sat there while everyone else was unpacking.” Although this mishappening took place, Callanan said, “But for moving here, we sort of stayed with our aunt and we unpacked everything. I got to put my room together, which was a lot of fun.”

Even though Iowa City does not have as much to offer as the other cities  Callanan lived in, she said, “I love the people in Iowa City. It was really easy to adapt here, and I was able to make friends really easily.”

The first friend Callanan made in Iowa was Lauren Schafer ‘20. “When I met her, I was going to her house to hang out with her older sister.” At first, Schafer looked at Callanan in a whole different way. “She kind of seemed like an annoying little sister, but then we all started hanging out. We were making vines and we had the same sense of humor so I knew we’d be friends,” Schafer said.  

Sarah Callanan poses for a photo with her best friends at West High Dance Marathon.

Although moving is not a very fun journey and is rather a very stressful one, Callanan learned to make the most of her experiences in every place she lived in and in the moving processes themselves. She got to spend more time with her siblings than ever imagined, especially with her older sister Maggie Callanan ‘20. Maggie said, “My favorite moment was when we moved to Iowa. The whole basement was empty and we had grabbed a speaker, played music and danced all around the basement.” Maggie enjoyed doing many things with her sister, and she also said, “Sarah definitely handled everything super well. At first, we both had trouble finding friends but we knew we always had each other to lean on.”

I wish we could move again because moving is really life-changing. It’s nice to be somewhere else and experience something new.”

— Sarah Callanan ‘21

“I wish we could move again because moving is really life-changing. It’s nice to be somewhere else and experience something new,” Callanan said.

She said that she changed as a person and there is a lot she learned from moving. “To adjust here, I tried to become more social and have a positive attitude,” she said. From changing her clothing style to overall growing older, moving made her look at things in a different way. “I also learned that family is the most valuable thing. They’re always there for me through thick and thin, which was especially nice when moving.” 

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