I had ambitions of doing two posts today, one on the NaBloPoMo prompt on “What is the luckiest thing that has ever happened to you and why” as well as a separate post participating in Adventuroo’s Capture the Everyday meme. It turns out my productivity does not match my ambition. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that both posts could fit in one post. Stay with me here.
When I was a senior in high school, I applied for and received a Teaching Fellows scholarship. The now-defunct program (thanks to the bozos in the General Assembly) gave college scholarships to students who would be willing to teach for 4 years in the NC public school system. The scholarships were redeemable at all of the public universities and one private college.
For some reason, I always wanted to attend UNC Chapel Hill. I think it was because it was the paternal side of my family’s favorite college team. As I was going through the Teaching Fellows process, I had to indicate my top college choice and secondary and tertiary choices. You could get into the university of your choosing, but you wouldn’t be able to use your Teaching Fellows scholarship unless they had a place for you. Unsurprisingly, NC State and UNC Chapel Hill had a lot of applicants for not enough spaces. I put down UNC Chapel Hill as my top choice and then faltered. Where did I want to go next? I ended up putting Meredith College in Raleigh as my second choice because I had heard good things about it, my mother talked it up, and since they were private, they matched the Teaching Fellows funds so that it was pretty much a full scholarship. UNCG was my third choice.
I was accepted at UNC Chapel Hill but did not receive a Teaching Fellows slot, so I quickly turned to my second choice, Meredith, which had accepted me into the school and the Teaching Fellows program. I turned UNC down and made plans to attend Meredith.
And it was the best decision of my life. Even though my first glimpse of Meredith was on the day I moved in, I loved it. Granted, I didn’t always love the sorority-esque feel and activities (Cornhuskin’!!!!), but I loved the campus, I loved my classes, and I loved the people I met there. I ended up majoring in English (quite a change for the student who planned to major in psychology and become a therapist one day). I continued my long-time participation in theater by being in plays. Though some of my friends who attended Chapel Hill and professors at NC State were dismissive and condescending about the school, Meredith was awesome. I met one of my best friends there. Attending college there laid the foundation for my future (no, I never taught). Most importantly, I met J there during a “Boy Day,” one of the few times boys were allowed in your rooms. We were married in the chapel almost 10 years ago.
I am so incredibly thankful that I was not given a spot in the Teaching Fellows program at UNC Chapel Hill. I don’t think I would have been happy there, and while my relationship with organized religion is somewhat sketchy and nebulous, I truly believe that some higher power was looking out for me. Meredith was perfect for me.
It is tempting to ponder whether one decision sends you down a wildly different course than another decision would (roads not taken and all that), but I don’t want to think what my present would be like if I hadn’t attended Meredith. If I hadn’t attended Meredith, I may not have this:
And for that, I am truly thankful.