By Trent Misak, '18
For many graduates of Northwestern Oklahoma State University, northwest Oklahoma is home. It is the area where we choose to live, work and raise a family. Northwest Oklahoma brings a different quality of life you cannot find anywhere else. There is something special about going to a movie at the Rialto in Alva, attending the rodeo in Woodward, or taking children and grandchildren to Leonardo’s Children’s Museum in Enid. Northwest Oklahoma benefits also include a lower cost of living, easier commutes and safe communities.
If you graduated from Northwestern but have moved away, have you considered moving back? You might be surprised at what has changed since you have been gone. Throughout northwest Oklahoma there are great jobs available that could be the perfect match for you.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the benefits of living in communities like Alva, Enid and Woodward. For the most part, case rates were low and businesses remained open. There has been a resurgence of people moving out of the large cities and back to a place that feels more like home. According to the United States Postal Service, from February to July 2020 more than 15.9 million people moved from urban to more rural communities. This is an increase of
3.92 percent compared to 2019, resulting in more rural communities seeing the benefits of newcomers.
The following are some ways to start if you are interested in moving back to northwest Oklahoma.
Who is hiring. There are more than 1,186 jobs listed in a variety of career fields across northwest Oklahoma. If you are not finding the right job on indeed or LinkedIn, consider calling the Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Development Office or the Northwestern Foundation & Alumni Association to see if they have any leads.
If you want to be your own boss, northwest Oklahoma is a great place to start your own business. There are a variety of resources available in each community to assist with business plans and financing options.
House hunting. The housing market can be challenging but great homes are listed across the area. It is also perfect timing to take advantage of low mortgage rates that range between 2.2 - 3.1 percent. Find a good realtor and start browsing.
Reach out to friends still in the area. It is always nice to move back and know people in the community. Consider reaching out to college friends who have stayed in the area and get advice from them.
Invite your friends to join you. In other words, “the more the merrier.” Bring the gang back together and encourage them to join you on your journey back to northwest Oklahoma.
Get plugged in with the Northwestern Foundation & Alumni Association. Once you move back, it is important to get involved. There are always opportunities to get involved with the Northwestern Foundation & Alumni Association or other organizations in the community. Your involvement helps continue to make northwest Oklahoma the place to be.
Never left NW Oklahoma? Thanks for deciding to make this area your home. Reach out to a friend who might be interested in moving back and share with them why you love to call northwest Oklahoma home.
Trent Misak is a Northwestern ’18 Masters of Education graduate. Misak works for the Enid Regional Development Alliance as the Marketing and Business Development Manager. His wife Tiffany, a ’12 and ’21 Northwestern graduate, serves as the Campus Coordinator for the Northwestern Enid campus. They have a son, Kasen (2), and are expecting a baby girl in November ’21.