There are a couple things you should know about me: I was destined to attend the University of Tennessee from my birthday in 1998. I was very literally born right after Tee Martin led the Vols to a victory against Florida at home. The next thing that you should know is I never wanted to go to UTK. I will rarely admit this, but part of me is glad I stayed on Rocky Top.
If you are from Knoxville and attend UT you probably understand feeling like you will be stuck here forever with the same people you have known since you were born. Starting freshmen year I was overwhelmed by this feeling. Now, beginning my sophomore year, I realized how wrong I was.
I originally stayed in Knoxville for school because my ACT score was not high enough to get me scholarships to any other proclaimed institutions. I was so upset about having to go to UT that my parents made a deal with me: if my grades stayed in a good place I could transfer to Auburn University for my last two years of undergrad, but now I would not dare leave home because I have made so many close friends and none of them are from Knoxville.
Another reason I stayed in Knoxville was for my family. My sister had recently moved to the New England area and I knew my parents were really against having both kids too far away to visit on weekends. While at first I was weary about still being close enough for my parents to just show up at my dorm, but within the first week, it became a blessing. I only had to bring enough to get me through the first week of classes during move-in weekend since I could just go home and get more. I also am never more than twenty minutes away from three dogs and my home parish. If puppies and a great church are not reasons to stay in my hometown I do not know what is!
UT really is a family thing — my sister even went here!LTB Photography, Knoxville
The third reason I stayed I have already mentioned: scholarships. As most people know UT has subpar scholarships for the most part, but thanks to the HOPE scholarship a large majority of students are able to at least start college with a little money towards their education. Having the opportunity for this scholarship really forced me to want to stay at UT and save a little money every year.
Do not get me wrong I often think about how my life would be different had I go to schools like Auburn or Emerson or even Western Kentucky, but I consider myself lucky that God stepped in put me where I needed to be, at the University of Tennessee.