When the time came to start thinking about college, I had only one school on my mind, UNC Chapel Hill. I grew up a die-hard Carolina fan. I spent countless nights coaching Roy’s boys from in front of the tv screen. When baseball season rolled around, life was even sweeter. My best friend’s brother was a pitcher for Carolina which meant every time there was a game at the Bosh, I was there. And each time they made it to the College World Series, I was on the plane, Omaha bound. I just knew that one day I would be wearing that beautiful Carolina Blue, strolling across campus with my fellow Tar Heels. And when junior year of high school rolled around, I could hardly wait to fill out my application.
Needless to say, going to an all girls school was the farthest thought from my mind…in fact, the very thought made me cringe. My parents had mentioned Meredith College to me on more than one occasion, and time and time again I tuned them out. I mean who wants to go to a school with just girls? How would I ever meet prince charming? As if the drama of high school girls wasn’t enough, four more years of being surrounded by girls…no thank you! Yep, I was that girl. The girl who crinkled her nose and made a face at the words “all girls school”. I didn’t like it, and there was nothing my parents or anyone else could say to convince me otherwise.
It wasn’t until my best friend Alex and I we’re heading to Raleigh with her family, to watch Carolina take the field against the Wolfpack, that I agreed to go on a tour of Meredith and see what this all girls school was really like. I was so excited about the baseball game that I really hadn’t thought twice about the fact that we were going to meet the softball coach at Meredith. In any other situation, I would have been a nervous wreck preparing to meet a college softball coach and talk about the possibilities of playing. Softball was my life. Since I was seven years old, there was a glove on one hand, ball in the other; the dirt was my home. The thought of playing in college gave me goose bumps. It would be nothing short of a dream come true. But playing for Meredith? I wasn’t sold.
But then, everything changed. I remember it like it was yesterday. After almost three hours, we arrived at 3800 Hillsborough Street – or 3800 Acer Wood as my class would later call it. We pulled through front gates and right before my eyes was the place I was going to call home for the next four years. From the moment we stepped out of the car, right there in front of Johnson Hall, I knew that Meredith College was where I belonged. It’s a moment that I’ve never quite been able to explain. There are no words to describe what happened inside me. Some people describe that type of moment by saying a light bulb went off, but I like to say it’s more like my heart whispered to my head, “This is it!” However you chose to describe it, it was as if I was right where I belonged. I was home.
From that moment on, Meredith College became the only college on my mind. Gone were the dreams of wearing Carolina Blue. Gone were the hopes of being a real deal Tar Heel, instead of just a wanna be fan. Never in my life would I have ever thought I would give in to what my parents had tried to encourage and willingly choose to attend an all girls school, but I did. When it came time to apply, despite everyone’s advice, I put all my eggs in one basket and submitted only one college application, my application to Meredith. Pretty sure I was the only one of my friends not applying to multiple places. Maybe its because I never wanted to know if I would get in to Carolina, or maybe its because I knew there’s no where else I wanted to be, but I deep inside knew I would get in to Meredith. I had to, right? Well, as you probably know from the title of this blog, I got in – and thank God I did! Looking back, I can’t imagine how different life would have been had I not ended up at good ol’ MC.
After that, time couldn’t go by fast enough. While senior year of high school was by far my favorite of the four years, I found myself wishing it away so I could finally be on that on that beautiful campus I had fallen in love with at the beginning of the year. Day after day, I counted down to August 15th, and before I knew it, the day was finally here.
Now, before I tell you about the next four years, let me just give you a little background on myself. I’m an only child, from a small town on the east coast of North Carolina. My family is very close knit; therefore, they are the most important people in my life. Growing up, I attended two very small schools – a private, Catholic, elementary and middle school, and then a 2A high school that sits on the beautiful Bogue Sound. Throughout those years, I was never one of the cool kids. I never belonged to the in crowd. Don’t get me wrong, I had a lot of friends through playing three sports, but I was a long way from popular. I can pretty much guarantee you that the majority of people I went to high school with never knew who I was, and I was okay with that. I very much kept to myself, never really felt like I fit in, and just kind of went through the motions, never trying to be a part of the in crowd.
When I started at Meredith, I didn’t really feel any different than I had in high school. I took a look around at the girls in my advising group and thought to myself, I’m not like them. I’m not a rich kid. I don’t drive the latest BMW. I don’t wear name brand everything. In fact, some of my favorite outfits came from Target. I quickly began to worry that I had made a mistake. While I was so captivated by the atmosphere, the traditions and the feeling of home that Meredith had provided, that I tuned out the other pieces of the big picture. I found myself missing my family, wishing I was back home. Little did my parents know, and the few new friends I had made definitely didn’t know, but I found myself sitting alone in my dorm room, propped up in my bed, crying as I worked on homework. Crying because I loved everything about the thought of Meredith, but I didn’t think I could find my place. I was just going to continue being that girl that no one knew.
Thankfully that feeling didn’t last long. In fact, Meredith changed me. While I know that I am the person I am today because of the influence and guidance of numerous people – you know who you are – and experiences that shaped my life, but I can honestly say that Meredith College is the reason I am who I am. While there were many ups and downs over the four years, I wouldn’t trade one minute, one struggle, one moment of doubt in myself, for anything. The four years I spent at Meredith College were truly the best four years of my life, and while through this blog I can try to pack it all in, and explain everything to you with hopes of giving you a glimpse of what life is really like inside an all girls school, there’s one thing you’re going to have to accept. If you really want to know what makes Meredith so life changing…you just have to experience it!