In which I ditched it all and wound up happy

There wasn’t ever a second thought about where I would go to college.  My parents had successfully convinced me from birth that their alma mater, a small Baptist university out in West Texas, would be where I attended and like all good daughters my father is rolling his eyes I cheerfully applied, was accepted, granted a full scholarship and made plans to show up bright and shiny with my backpack and Members Only jacket in August, 1987.

Except.

In June of 1987 I went to work at a convention center for the summer and I met a boy.

Who did NOT go to that West Texas school.

And I fell head over heels in love.

At summer’s end and despite the distance between our respective schools, we managed to keep our relationship going because I finally had a boyfriend and I wasn’t letting that go and he would drive the 860 mile round trip every three weeks to see me.  This lasted until Thanksgiving when I’m sure that his parents said something about the charges on his gas card and he invited me to come see him, on his campus, at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkansas.

The minute I saw the welcome sign  I knew I was home.

I spent several days there, bunking in the dorm with some precious girls who opened their room up to a stranger, wandering the campus marveling at the lack of tumbleweeds, survived a meal or two at Walt’s Cafeteria, and immediately made plans to transfer.

There was one little hitch.

I had to call my father.

Now, to say that my daddy was less than thrilled about boys in general would be an understatement.

To hear that his daughter was leaving her FULL SCHOLARSHIP at his alma mater to chase a boy to Arkansas?

Let’s just say that conversation didn’t go so well.

To his credit, he did not disinherit me, but he did inform me that if I felt the need to make such an irresponsible decision and throw a free four-year degree out the window, I’d have to figure out a way to pay for school myself.

So I did.

I called the Admissions Office, told them I wanted to come, and in the boldest move I’ve ever made, I asked them to match my scholarship.

And without batting an eyelash, they did.

And so I moved to Arkansas in January, 1988, to a place where I knew one person, and proceeded to laugh, love, ditch the boyfriend, and live in a community that has nurtured me to this day.

I learned about dancing and Descartes.

I learned how to borrow and return the john boat from the Science lab without anyone knowing about it and how to lead by example.

I learned how to schedule my classes around prime tanning time at Lake DeGray and how to serve.

But most of all I grew and matured surrounded by friends and professors who challenged me to make a difference in my sphere of influence.

Truly, one of the best decisions I ever made.

Have a nice day.

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23 responses to “In which I ditched it all and wound up happy

  1. How did you and Angie know it was founder’s day? I’m glad I have such intelligent and informed friends. And I’m so glad you transferred. Such great memories–I love OBU!!

  2. my mom and dad met at ouachita! many years earlier, but nonetheless it’s a pretty cool place! sadly, it wasn’t even a choice for me to attend- way more expensive than the good ole’ state school. oh well, what a blast nonetheless!

    lydia

  3. I’ll say it again – I’m so glad you were at OBU. I’m thankful for you!

  4. I’m so glad you dated that boy. And then I’m glad that you and that boy broke up so that you’d have more time to do stuff like join brand-spanking-new clubs. So we could be friends. And change the world forever. :)

  5. WOW! I love this Susan. Such a great time @ OBU.

  6. I love your stories about boys….

  7. Like how your Dad handled it…I’m storying that one away for possible future use.

  8. ok, not storying, but storing……

  9. And now I want to hear your dad’s version of this story….

  10. Oh Susan! So many questions..like who was that boy?? But mostly just thankful that you were at OBU! I still think you are amazing and I’m thankful for the experiences I had with you. OBU is indeed a very special place! And though at times I could look back at TriChi moments and think we were silly, it is what I remember most about my OBU days…ok, well second to meeting my husband! Thanks for sharing…I’m a bit homesick for the old days!

  11. And so is the next post how you met Mr. CPQ??? Don’t you love it when readers suggest blog material??? ha!

  12. That boy is blogging today about the one that got away from him at OBU…

  13. That’s an awesome story!!! haha! And Lance says hi! :)

  14. Well, I don’t know who that poor unlucky boy was but I figure he can’t hold a candle to your Mr. CPQ!

  15. I want to know who the boy was, Sus. Spill it!

  16. My favorite memory of you is the summer we lived in Dr. Allison’s house. We thought we were so adult. It was Robin Felts, Laura Bushmayer, Ellen Childress, you, me. Anyone else? How terrible if I forgot someone!!

  17. I’m with Amber. We need your dad’s version of this story. :)

  18. My memory is fuzzy. Did that boyfriend have red hair? Wish I’d known you better back then. But I was always busy with the tall gangly boy from Texas by that point, I guess. Glad we know each other now!

  19. Aren’t we all noisy about the boy! I think Angie may be close though. That boy was friends with my boy whom I met when Dr. Frey prayed me into a summer job at Glorieta. I am so glad CPQ got the right boy and Angie got the tall gangly boy , and I got just the right boy for me too. And they lived happily ever after..

  20. Cool Arkansas connection. I love learning about ‘degrees of separation’. I didn’t go to OBU, but I am an Arkansas born and bred woman. And.. I know also that OBU is very awesome.

  21. And I’m glad I had such a great roommate! And, I think it was the boy with the red hair, if not, he was the next one….:)

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