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College Love Story: Her Beginning

“Tuition exchange”, the two words my parents have engraved in my head since I could talk. My whole life had been leading up to the moment I went away to college. Being a tuition exchange kid makes you one of the most envied person in your entire high school. People think you have the college life made and you can get a full ride anywhere you choose but that isn’t true. When looking for colleges I was limited to 125 options which were all small liberal arts schools. Now you might think 125 is a lot but it is actually quite limited. When my parents shoved the school list in my hand the summer of my junior year of high school I was terrified. I had no idea what schools to look at and googling college after college became redundant. So, I talked to my dad, after all he works at a college so he should know where to look. My dad suggested Xavier University and little did I know that suggestion would change my entire life.

I toured Xavier the summer going into my senior year of high school. At this time in my life I was recovering from knee surgery and was wheel chair bound. The day before my visit we look the long six-hour drive from Chicago. The drive was extremely uncomfortable and I ended up getting really sick the night before. At this point I wanted nothing to do with Xavier. I thought getting sick was a sign that this wasn’t my school and I was less than excited to go on this college tour. When we arrived on campus my dad pushed me in the wheel chair through the doors of Schott Hall. Little did I know that this one moment would change everything.

Upon my arrival, I was pushed into an auditorium for a presentation which was followed by a tour. The Campus was breath taking and I immediately fell in love. As our time at Xavier was coming to a close I pulled my mom aside and said, “I love it here”. This phrase would seal the deal on my decision to commit to Xavier. Come August I was filling out my application and by October 8th, 2016 I was given my acceptance to the university of my dreams. There was only one problem I had to wait until February to hear about my tuition exchange decision.

Tuition exchange is a scholarship offered to children whose parent work for liberal arts universities. This means that you can attend your parent’s university on a full ride or another one of the officiated schools if granted tuition exchange. Sounds great, right? Well what they don’t tell you is that tuition exchange is one of the most competitive scholarships in the entire country. The chance of being granted tuition exchange to a reputable university such as Xavier is a once in a life time opportunity.

On February 23rd, 2017, I was informed that out of the fifty applicants I was chosen to receive the tuition exchange scholarship. When I read that late on that Thursday night I collapsed out of pure disbelief and maybe even shed a tear or two. The fact of the matter was after over four months of waiting I was finally given answer I have been waiting for. Now the only thing standing in my way was my parents.

My parents were worried about me going away. I was diagnosed with social anxiety when I was seven and since that moment my mom has vowed to never let go. It took a lot of convincing to allow them to cut the cord but we finally came to an agreement. In order to commit I had to spend a night on campus as a perspective student. Sounds simple, but for someone with my condition it was that simple. Out of my love for Xavier I agreed to my mother proposition but secretly I was freaking out. Although, I bottled up this fear and dove in head first. After successfully spending a night on campus as a perspective student I committed to Xavier.

The next step on my journey was finding a roommate so I posted something on the Facebook page. My only goal was to find a roommate and maybe make some friends but I found much more that. On April 20th, I came across this boy. He had bright blue eyes, blond hair, and enough personality for two people. On a whim, I added him on snapchat. After talking back and forth non-stop he asked the one question that would change our lives forever, “would you like to FaceTime?”. Little did I know that the boy I met that night over the phone would become my loving, caring, and dependable boyfriend who is conquering college with me today.

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