It’s just after one in the morning, & I just finished my first college paper! (Well, the first rough draft.) I figured since I’m already up this late I might as well make a night out of it & have a writing party. Yaaay for writing! (I’m only being half sarcastic.)
I can’t tell you how many people have asked me why I, a girl from a small town that nobody’s ever heard of in northern Indiana, chose to come to UK, because I’ve literally lost count! So I figured instead of repeating the same, boring answer everytime, “Well, it’s kind of a long story…” I could blog about it so then the whole story’s out there for everyone to have their questions answered. So here’s the story, from beginning to end…
It was my junior year, & I was college surfing on the Internet. I even took the initiative to take notes on the different colleges I was viewing — student enrollment, location, public vs. private, denomination for the Christian schools, tuition, all that fun stuff. For some reason, a reason I am still unsure of, I was looking at colleges in Kentucky & Tennessee, & okay I’ll admit, a few in Indiana. But my heart was pretty much set on the south. Before this search began I had received a letter in the mail from Bellarmine University (along with many MANY others). However, for some reason, (again, a reason I am still unsure of) this particular university intrigued me. I got on the computer & ventured to their website once or twice before I started this whole detailed college search. (Bellarmine is in Louisville — maybe that’s why I was looking in KY & TN?) So anyways, I had my list of schools that interested me, & I started narrowing them down pretty much just based on their websites & what I gathered from them.
Like I said, Bellarmine had stuck out to me. So when I started scheduling visits, naturally I wanted to visit this place of interest. Before this visit, however, I visited Taylor University. It was a great visit — the atmosphere was friendly & welcoming, & I was even able to meet with the soccer coach & chat with him for a bit. The campus was great, & I would recommend it to anyone. Besides me. Although it was a great place where I could definitely feel the presence of the Lord, it wasn’t what I was looking for. Wait.. what? I didn’t want to be in the presence of the Lord? Don’t take it that way, even though that’s how it sounds.
After this visit, I knew that I didn’t want to attend a Christian school. Again, wait.. what? Christian schools are great, & hear me when I say this: I don’t have anything against them. It simply wasn’t for me. I’ve grown up in a Christian home, in a Christian community, with Christian friends, & attending church all of my life. In that kind of situation, it’s so easy to get caught up in putting on an act. Everyone knows you’re a Christian, so it’s easy to put on a face, & no one would ever know the difference. I had been in a bubble all of my life, & I was tired of being comfortable. I wanted to be challenged, to be pushed to my limits, to have to decide either to trust in my Savior or to fall off the deep end. I wanted to be uncomfortable. With this in mind, I crossed Taylor off the list from the start.
Okay, moving forward..
I scheduled a visit to Bellarmine University in June before my senior year, & I was looking to schedule a couple others (with no thoughts of UK). Having a six hour drive down there I figured we should probably make a trip out of it & make it worthwhile. Honestly, I don’t even remember what other schools I tried for, but I do know this: none of them worked out. The Bellarmine visit was already scheduled, & none of the other colleges had open times for the day of, the day before, or the day after the Bellarmine visit. & one of the sites I couldn’t even figure out how to schedule one. So here I was with one visit planned while all the rest had fallen through. So I thought to myself, “You know what, the University of Kentucky is pretty popular. They’re super good at basketball, & it’d just be way cool to be able to visit there, just cause it’s UK — let’s do it!” So I got on the website & sure enough, it worked out perfectly.
So I had my visit to Bellarmine first. I won’t bore you with the details of that. But I will say that I did really like it, & it excited me when I thought about going to college there. The next day I had my visit to UK. We were sitting in an info session where a lady talked to us for half an hour about campus life & all that jazz. & I distinctly remember feeling very afraid & nervous all of a sudden. I just got really worried about what life would be like, & how scary such a big campus would be with so many unknowns about it. It freaked me out! But then a little voice inside of me said this, “But wait, Taylor, this is what you wanted.” & that voice was right. I was uncomfortable, & that was exactly what I wanted.
July came, & I was feeling a lot of pressure since everyone else seemed to have all their plans for college down & ready to execute. I was constantly back & forth between Bellarmine & Kentucky. (Let’s face it, I never really considered anywhere else..) There was a lot of frustration as I tried so hard to seek out the Lord & the plan that He had for me. Where did He want me? Where would I best serve Him? I specifically remember one day at summer camp — all I could think about was Kentucky. I would picture myself being at college, & I pictured myself on UK’s campus. I got really excited to go to school, & I couldn’t figure out why I had UK on my mind. Then that night as I was lying in bed, I remembered. I remembered praying a prayer the previous day that went something along the lines of this, “Lord, I don’t know where You want me to be. I don’t even know where I want to be. Where do You want me? Where do my next steps of life take place? Would You please show me, make it clear to me.”
So that was pretty neat. Need I say more about that?
My senior year flew past, & for some reason I was still unsure of which college to choose. It was one of those things where I was like, “Hmm. Was that really God? Or maybe that was just me making things up?” Many more months & much more frustration later, my dad & I went through the costs of each of the schools. Attending UK seemed to be almost impossible (although Bellarmine wasn’t much better) considering my financial state. So it seemed as though it had been settled — I would go to Bellarmine. But I decided I needed to pay one final visit to each, just to make sure. So spring break of my senior year my parents & I made another trip south to KY. Again, we visited Bellarmine first. Yet this time, I had a funny feeling in my stomach the whole time we were on campus. I’m not really sure what it was, but something just didn’t feel right. Two days later I was on UK’s campus, & I literally felt like I was ready to be there for the next four years of my life. It’s where I wanted to be & where I needed to be. I knew it for a fact. So after discussing it with my father (keeping in mind the cost) I received his blessing & finally made my final decision — I was going to be apart of the Big Blue Nation, & I couldn’t have been more excited.
After hearing my story, you may think I’m an ignorant girl who just goes off her feelings. & maybe I am. But I know this to be true: I am here at UK. I have absolutely no regrets about being here. I have encountered the Lord in a very real & personal way more times than I can count in the two weeks I’ve been here. He is right here by my side. & whether I just went off my feelings or not, He is blessing my every move, & I couldn’t be happier or more excited for all that He has in store for me here at UK.
Looking back, I definitely see the fingerprints of God all over this whole situation. It’s funny to me how He does that.. How He sits there watching you freak out over silly stuff, & then just like that He rests His powerful hand upon your shoulder & reassures you He’s got it all under control, & there’s really no reason to freak out at all. So thanks, Jesus. Thanks for always guiding my path, even when I doubt. No, especially when I doubt.