Why I Chose To Go Green

Why I Chose To Go Green

The story of how I chose my dream college.

Deciding what college to attend is probably one of the most crucial decisions a high schooler needs to make and it takes a lot of time and energy to officially make that decision.

Ever since I was a little girl, I always saw myself going down south. My family makes trips to South Carolina every summer and exploring schools around that area was my ideal setting. I wanted warm weather and sun and the ability to wear a dress year-round, so the University of South Carolina was the dream school for me.

Sorry for all the love towards South Carolina, but the University of South Carolina was the first school I visited and the campus was unimaginably beautiful. We went to a football game against rival school Clemson and explored the night-life of USC. My mind was completely set on going there and nothing seemed to shake my mind. Throughout my junior year of high school, I checked to see what ACT and SAT scores I had to get to be competitive and worked on the personal statement for months to perfect it. All my focus was set on getting into USC.

One summer night, my family and I were sitting down at dinner having a conversation to see if I wanted to explore any other colleges before I started applying in the fall. I told them I was fine with the list I had which was South Carolina, Penn State, Coastal Carolina, Ohio State, University of Delaware and Bucknell, which was my dad's alma mater.

My mom spoke up and asked, “Would you be interested in checking out my school? I feel like you would really like it.” Her school was Michigan State University which I shut down immediately. I love my mom to death, don't get me wrong, but I had no interest at all in going up and seeing Michigan (hate me all you want, I can promise you by the end of this story I changed my mind).

My whole understanding about college is that I wanted to go to a school that was well-known and none of my family went to so I could have my own experiences to show off. Also, the only time we ever talked about Michigan State was during basketball season when they would get into the March Madness playoff games. So why would I follow in my mom's footsteps?

Now, my mom is hard to persuade, so she bought plane tickets against my will and in May we flew up to East Lansing. At first, we just did a typical school tour where they show you all the most well-known monuments of Michigan State and some classroom sizes. I remember my mom being completely into it as this was her first time back at Michigan State since she graduated, but me, well, I was just observing my surroundings and picturing South Carolina instead.

My mindset never strayed until one moment during the tour I vividly remember. We were walking out of the library and onto the bridge that is above the Red Cedar. As everyone else's eyes were gazing along the river, mine were directly focused at the gigantic Spartan header above the football stadium. I remember picturing what it was like inside the stadium, how the fans cheered and how the team has to run out to the field from their locker rooms.

I remember thinking of the marching band and their halftime performances or how animated a mascot like Sparty the Spartan would be. And at this very moment, I pulled my mom aside and told her that I could possibly see myself at this school. She was stunned at first since my mood about the school was so negative prior to this interaction, but she gave me a big hug and told me to keep that in mind cause she had a little surprise for me after the tour was over.

With the school tour over and the day winding away, my mom and I hopped into our rental car and she asked me, “Are you ready?”

I'm always down for adventure, but what else was there to see besides what the tour gave me? We drove up to Grand River and down M.A.C and she pulled up to a small white house. She told me that this was the house she lived in junior year and all the memories she and her friends had in it, the late-night conversations and early morning wake-up calls for classes.

We continued down and saw all these large houses with Greek letters on them; she pointed out the sorority she was in, Zeta Tau Alpha. We kept driving around and she kept showing me all the places that she would go to and the backstories behind them and I just felt an immediate connection to the place. To have all these amazing stories like my mom had was what I wanted college to be like for me.

The entire time I was picking colleges, I wanted to have a different experience from the rest of my family, but I learned that I can still have my own experience at the same school and I liked the idea that she would have a completely different story about the same place. And so slowly but surely, I began to lose interest in South Carolina and began to dream of a life at Michigan State.

Michigan State was also the first school I heard back from which made me feel like it was especially interested in me attending. I joined the Michigan State GroupMe's to find a roommate and from then on, it was set that I was going to spend four years at the best school ever. Go Green!

Cover Image Credit: Michigan Radio

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When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything

They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.

Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

Cover Image Credit: tristen duhon

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Sports And Religion

Why are so many athletes religious?


I recently just made it on to the USC Track and Field team, and it is easily the biggest accomplishment I have ever made in my entire life. I worked so hard to physically and mentally prepare to try out for the team, let alone actually make it. I thank God for allowing me to have the chance to be a part of this team, as well as giving me that physical and mental strength required to do so, and I express this whenever someone congratulates me for making the team or even asks if I made it or not. However, I noticed that when I did this, some of the responses were a bit dismissive when I brought religion into the picture. When I said I thank God for it, I would be met with responses like "Yea well even aside from God..." or another response that drew the conversation away from my faith, away from the concept of a god.

In fact, I've noticed that many athletes are religious in some form-- more so collectively than other student bodies aside from religious groups themselves. I thought about why this may be, aside from the obvious answer such as growing up religious at home, because that does not answer the question; many people grew up in a religious household and are not religious themselves. So, I began to think personally. Why do I thank God for my athletic performance? There's a certain level of uncertainty within every sport. All athletes train their hardest to minimize this level of uncertainty, in order to maximize their chances of success. However, you can only train so hard. To me, no matter how hard you train, there's always some type of level of uncertainty to every level of performance: the chances of you getting injured, the chances of you winning your game or race, the chances of the opponent's performance, etc. This is where I think God intervenes, and perhaps other athletes would agree. There have been countless times where I ran well and had absolutely no idea how I did it. Yes, I worked hard to improve my times, but when you are in the moment of a race, or a game, that fades into the background, especially when everyone else has been working just as hard. It's just you, your race (or game), and God. That's it.

I could have not made the team. As a walk-on, there is more pressure for you to perform since the coaches did not seek you out; you sought them out. You are proving your abilities. Thus, I was nervous about my chances of actually making the team, especially considering the fact that the USC track team is arguably the best collegiate track team in the United States. I performed well during my try out and finished all the workouts, however I wasn't as fast as the other girls. In addition, I was 3 minutes late to my last day of tryouts and got chewed out by the coach for it. I was convinced that I blew my chances. And yet, somehow, I made it. I worked so hard for it, yes, but I thank God for keeping my body healthy so I could train to the best of my ability. I thank Him for allowing the coaches to have the time to try me out. I thank Him for allowing them to see my potential. I thank Him for giving me the best high school track coach possible who prepared me mentally and physically, as well as supported me throughout all the highs and all the lows. I thank Him for giving me this chance to continue my track career at the most prestigious collegiate team. My gratitude for all this, is simply infinite.

There is good reason why many athletes are religious; being an athlete requires you to be more than yourself. It requires you to dig deeper, into places that you didn't even think were possible, and really aren't without the belief of a higher power. The belief in a higher power, in whatever form or name that takes, means the belief in infinite possibility. And for an athlete to have that, means nothing can stop them from chasing their dreams.

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