08 December 2017

50 Miles to Eternity

As a high school senior, I applied to exactly four colleges: Miami University, Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati, and the University of Dayton. These universities are 19 miles, 20 miles, 21 miles, and 50 miles from where I grew up. There's an obvious trend there, and an obvious outlier. I did not want to go anywhere far away. In fact, my mother forced me to apply to the University of Dayton, and I refused to seriously consider it.

At this distance I remember surprisingly little about my college application process, why I picked Miami over the others. It does have the nicest campus of the four. The main other thing that I remember is because UC's academic calendar ran much later than Miami's, I was getting e-mails in early September telling me it was not too late to enroll at UC. Reading them in my dorm room at Miami, I was like, "Uh, I'm pretty sure it is." (I'd guess my mother remembers more of this than me.) The main thing I do remember about the whole process is that I really did not want to go far away from home. The hour drive to Dayton seemed like it would be an eternity!

It's such a contrast to being at the University of Tampa now. I could pop home for the weekend or even the evening as an undergraduate. There was a period where I still went back on Tuesday nights to fulfill my obligations as an Assistant Scoutmaster in my old Boy Scout troop! Most of my students here are from out of state; going home means an eight-hour car ride at best, more usually a plane trip. I couldn't countenance going far; they couldn't imagine staying close to home. (Though some of them have turned out to be more homebodies than they imagined. I filled out data on a transfer application for one, and that prompted a pre-class conversation that caused others to bemoan how far away they'd gone.)

After I graduated, though, I lived at home with my parents for a year, and then when I was applying to M.A. programs, I couldn't wait to get further afield. I remember applying to Indiana University and worrying it was too close at 120 miles away. So I suppose I ended up going through what my UT students went through, just five years later. (Sometimes I think my emotional development was five years behind the average.) I guess I needn't've worried, as I ended 800 miles away, and now I'm over 900!

And 120 miles would be delightful.

#430: What are your sources for information about colleges and universities?

1 comment:

  1. And the scouts in 641, and their other leaders, were glad you were still in the neighborhood