Whenever I’ve had too much cold brew or overslept after a long night of binge-watching Scandal, I get in the habit of asking really irrelevant–but extremely provocative–questions. Lucky for my parents, they’ve been my involuntary audience this weekend.
While sipping rosé and dining on three crostini at our favorite restaurant, Fig & Olive, I asked my parents one of my classic questions: knowing what they know now, where would they have gone to college?
For a little background, both my mother and my father went to super small schools. I’m talking all-girls (mom) in the middle of nowhere, Minnesota. My dad’s, in Texas, was so small that he could name every person in his graduating class. Obviously, they didn’t have the typical college experience that a lot of my friends’ parents had.
When I was first applying to schools, I had absolutely no idea where I wanted to go. I knew it had to be big and it had to have good college football (my dad’s brainwashing when I was a kid, I’m sure), but other than that, every school seemed like a place I could be happy.
I actually applied to Michigan on a whim after seeing this picture of me in a Michigan cheerleading uniform. I asked my mom why I had it, given that no one I knew went to Michigan or even liked it. Her response, in my mom’s typical surprised-yet-totally-not-surprised tone, “I got it on sale.”
A sale. That’s all it took to get me here. Well, not exactly…
My dad is the type of guy who gets overly excited about everything. As soon as I said I was applying, he fast forwarded to football season and bought himself Michigan shirts, hats, gloves, and even a foam finger for when he made his first appearance in the Big House. I found out that I got in just in time for him to order me the classic maize and blue overalls for Christmas. He had decided: I was going to Michigan.
I think I needed someone to make that decision for me. It’s not like I didn’t have a say in coming to school here, but I think that I was so indifferent about the entire college process that I would still have been deciding once the deadline came around. Since coming here, I’ve definitely gotten better at making decisions, but I’m glad my dad took the liberty of buying me all the gear to push me to come here.
I’m sure it comes as no surprise that my dad answered the question I posed at dinner with, “Michigan, of course!” Even though I have two older brothers and they both went to good schools, I think I’m living the kind of experience that my dad always wanted. It would probably freak some of my friends out to know that their parents wanted to live vicariously through them, but for me it’s a huge compliment and even more incentive to do well in school.
My parents have never been the type to ask me about my grades or how I’m balancing school, work, and my personal life. They always joke that I came out of the womb with a briefcase, and I think it’s sort of true. With all of the trust they put in me, it has allowed me to become independent, and to realize that my dad’s dream of coming to a school like Michigan is something that he isn’t jealous of me for. It’s something that he hopes I take full advantage of. And I definitely intend to with the years I have left.
Oh, and my mom’s answer…”I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Aw, how cute…