Just yesterday I had a conversation with a friend from my high school, Indianapolis Cathedral. The student is finishing up her senior year within the next month and a half. Cathedral just ended spring break yesterday and today is their first day back. When we were talking, I got my friend thinking about how excited she was to graduate and wondering how the time had passed from fall 2008 until now. Looking back on how high school seemed like it was merely months ago made me think about what made me decide on where I wanted to begin the next stage of my young life: college.
Before my junior year of high school, I did not know what school(s) I was interested in attending. I had a list of places that I wanted to look into for visiting and potentially applying for admission. I can remember going on three college visits over spring break: University of Dayton and Xavier University (in one day) as well as Marquette University. Each of those schools presented different pros and cons. I knew that all three could offer me the same things academically and spiritually (since all were private Jesuit universities), but the campus appeal had me intrigued the most at University of Dayton compared to both of the other schools. Dayton is not a large town, similar to Bloomington in some ways, and it was a smaller college, closer to what I envisioned myself attending. The culture on that campus is very unique and it had its own special aura about it.
Going into my senior year of high school, I was almost dead set on attending the University of Dayton for an undergraduate degree. Less than a month into my senior year things began to change. In high school, I worked for the girls' volleyball program and played for the boys' program (winning a combined total of four state championships between the two programs and playing in the finals all but one time). One of my coaches had come into contact with the Women's Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator at Indiana University (at the time, Sarah Gustin) when we were playing at a tournament one weekend. My coach talked to Sarah about me and asked if there was a space for me in the program, and low and behold a door opened up and I couldn't wait to see what was in store. I hadn't remotely considered Indiana University for school, but the college volleyball opportunity made me change my mind about being dead set on Dayton.
My mom and I came to visit the coaching staff and went on a tour of IU over my fall break. After experiencing how welcoming and open they were towards me entering their program, I was a bit more set on IU. Taking that one-day trip to Bloomington changed my entire perception of IU, especially with what it offered academically and its appeal to thousands of students in-state, out-of-state, and across the world. I got to see my first college volleyball match that same night and I was absolutely set on wanting to be a part of building up a volleyball program that was in absolute shambles before the new coaching staff arrived at IU.
Despite the fact that I had received a hefty service scholarship to attend University of Dayton, the college selection was more obvious now. I knew that Indiana University was going to be my place to call home for the next stage of my life. Yes, I regret turning down the University of Dayton, but I have no regrets in agreeing to attend Indiana University. Today, nearly four years ago, I finalized my decision to attend IU. Four years from now, I have no idea of what will be waiting for me, but I know this for a fact: whatever lies ahead will lead me to search for something more that would have trouble rivaling my experience at IU the past four years.
I am a bit fortunate to call this place a second home since 2008. I encourage anyone looking into the potential of your future that before you look into jumping quickly into a conclusion that you can always find what you least expect if you looking in the right places.
Have a great day, Hoosier Nation!