Down the (Maroon and Gold) Brick Road

Down the (Maroon and Gold) Brick Road

Throughout my junior and senior year of high school, I was constantly badgered by the question “where are you going for college?” I didn’t know, and frankly, I didn’t have any want to figure it out that early on. My options were limited: the state university, or the two smaller private schools in my town. There was nothing wrong with any of them, I just didn’t feel like I really belonged anywhere.

It was around November my senior year that I’d heard of Loyola. I’d always loved Chicago, and deep down I knew that I never really wanted to stay in the small town I was from. There wasn’t a huge chance that I was going to be able to go, but I figured the worst that could happen was I would just throw away the admissions envelope.

I applied, and although the application process was easy, telling my parents that this was the school I wanted to attend was not. I came from a pretty close family, and asking them to support a life that I wanted while being 500 miles away was difficult. Eventually, after many “yeah, right” responses, I convinced them to take me to one of the Loyola Weekend events. After 8 hours of driving, we rolled onto campus, greeted by a sea of maroon and gold filled with smiling faces. I’d only done a few other college tours, and so was still confused as where to go and what to do but quickly immersed myself in some tour group.

I walked through Loyola’s beautiful campus, while the instructor told my group all about the environmentally friendly accommodations, I zoned out and took a moment to absorb my new surroundings. There I was, standing in possibly the most beautiful campus I’d ever seen in a city I loved, and I felt completely at home.

So, why Loyola? I couldn’t give you a reason based on statistics, the lakeside view, or because of the religious foundation of the university, but I can only tell you it was due to a feeling. A feeling that even though I was going to be 500 miles away from everything that I had ever known, I was going to be okay. And further than that, I knew that I was going to succeed (and in that success I would mess up and find adventure) and that it was going to be hard but I would make my family proud. And that’s really all the convincing it took. It was then that I knew I’d make Loyola my home.

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