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May 27, 2020

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15 with Samantha Fell: "Enjoy every part of your life!"

By Torie Wright

You graduated from Ada in 2010 and from the University of Dayton in 2014. How does it feel to now be a high school and college alum?

It feels great! My dad once told me to “enjoy every part of your life.” I loved high school, had a great college experience, and am now having so much fun living in a big city. I have great memories from all my years of schooling and am looking forward to making even better ones post-graduation!

I understand you’re living in Chicago now. What do you do for a living? Do you like your job?

I’m working for a company called News America Marketing as an Account Coordinator and my responsibilities include handling major clients like Kellogg’s. News America has a great corporate culture and I work with a lot of people that are around my age. The environment is fun, the work is challenging, and I’m definitely learning a lot. It’s been a great experience so far and I’m excited to see what’s next.

Are you used to living in the city yet? How hard is it to transition from a small town like Ada to a place like Chicago?

One of the best decisions I made was moving to Chicago almost a month before I started my job. This allowed me to settle into my apartment, learn to navigate my neighborhood, and do some very cool things in the city before starting a 9-5 work schedule. Because I moved in early, the transition has actually been pretty smooth (even though I’m still not used to all the traffic!)

What’s your favorite thing about Chicago?

Lake Michigan is, hands down, my favorite thing about Chicago. The summers are amazing, but short, so I have been taking full advantage of the beautiful weather by visiting the beaches and running along the lakeshore as often as I can. City life is great but there is nothing better than relaxing on the beach.

What do you miss about Ada?

Friday Night Football! Regardless of what team I’m watching, I always love small-town football games where the whole community can come together and enjoy the best sport in the world.

Have you found it easy to make new friends?

There is a huge alumni network from the University of Dayton in Chicago and many of my college friends actually live in my neighborhood. I also have become very close with a lot of my coworkers and neighbors.  Moving to a new city without knowing many people can be difficult and I know I’m very lucky to have made new friends pretty easily.

I imagine there must be an awful lot of traffic where you live. How do you get around?

Public transportation is the best. Before moving here, the most exposure I ever had to rail systems was waiting for the occasional train to cross Main Street in Ada! Now, I take the “L” (the Chicago train system) to work almost every day and have become a map-reading expert. The city is surprisingly very easy to navigate and I pride myself every time I can travel without looking at Google Maps.

Do you have any advice for students who are getting ready to graduate college?

My best advice to those about to graduate is not to be afraid of taking chances. Moving from a town with four stoplights to one of the largest cities in America was initially very daunting, but has really been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Stepping outside of your comfort zone can be scary but in my case, the resulting experiences are so worth it!