My parents told me early in my high school career that I can attend any school I wanted and they'd make it happen. The catch? It had to be at least 50 miles away. I knew even then what my parents were doing. The college in my hometown is very much a "commuter" school. The students live at home and attend classes each day. And they never leave, never exposing themselves to people and things that are different. They didn't want that for me. Luckily, I didn't want that for me either (although, I did actually enroll to take one summer class at that university. However, my parents had moved to Tennessee, so I think it still fell within their "50 mile" rule).
I considered a handful of small, liberal arts colleges smattered around the southeast. My high school was very small (72 in my graduating class. We were all up in each others business), so I felt I'd be lost going to a huge school like Auburn. I eventually settled on Transylvania University in Lexington, KY. Pretty much everyone at home had the same reaction: "Where? Isn't that with the vampires?"
No, non-Latin speakers! Trans is a prefix meaning "across" or "through." Sylvania, of course meaning "the woods." As Transy was the first college founded west of the Allegheny (or Appalachia) Mountains, it's a fitting name!
Truth be told, picking Transy was more of a process of elimination. All of the other schools I considered has religion or chapel requirements. I had that for all 4 years of high school, plus middle school and elementary. I was done. However, Transy is affiliated with my denomination, Disciples of Christ. So it has religious affiliation without being religious. Check! Small student population? Check! Set smack-dab in the middle of a mid-size city's downtown? Check! Not in Alabama and fulfills the 50 mile rule? Check and check! Sold!
Seen here is Haupt Humanities building. What college doesn't have the iconic clock tower building?
Seen here is Old Morrison, Transy's administrative building. It's also the inspiration for all of Transy's logos. There used to be gorgeous cherry trees lining the drive around, but they were lost in an ice storm my freshman year. They replanted, but are obviously much smaller.
My college experience wouldn't have been complete without these girls. My freshman roommate convinced me to go through Recruitment with her (Transy has 4 national sororities and 4 fraternities). We didn't end up sisters, but I found these ladies (Aren't we beautiful?) This is actually a picture of just the seniors on Bid Day my senior year. We went through a LOT as a pledge class, but they taught me the meaning of love, honor, and truth. Oh, in case you don't read Greek, I'm a Phi Mu.
These ladies and I were pledges together, sorority sisters together, rabble-rousers together, and best friends to this day. I love these ladies and they have continually showed me true sisterhood. We may not see each other often (although only Nancy has that excuse as she's currently in Haiti saving the world), but we always pick up where we left off.
So that's the Transy experience in a nutshell. It was some of the best times of my life as well as some of the worst. I'm thankful to have had the awful times though, because it all led me to where I am today.