Yesterday I had the chance to visit with students who are considering attending Marquette University - 1000 miles away from their families - just as I was back in 2007- 2008. I was thrilled to find out 75% of them were going for engineering!
Making the choice to "go away to college" is difficult for a 17, 18, 19 year old to make. Choosing to go 1,000 miles away in a town or city or state you've never been to a complete gamble.
I can't tell you how scared I was. It was a major mix of emotions from choosing to give up my chance to play college softball, to being away from my mama, not seeing or being around for my brother & sister, not knowing ANYONE remotely near Milwaukee, but also pure excitement for an adventure to learn, grow, find my calling and who I could be.
Marquette did all that AND more. Not only did it help me escape the racism and politics in South Texas but it opened my eyes to the possibility of what a real, loving, accepting, open-minded community could be. Granted, there will always be politics, there will always be kakaheads determined to be mean, ugly, or rude. But when the vast majority of people genuinely wanted to know WHO I was, what my goals & aspirations were in life, what I enjoyed doing with my time INSTEAD of what I was - I was floored.
I share all this because attending Marquette was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. Taking a chance on myself in one of the scariest and most unknown, unpredictable situations I've ever been in - it paid dividends! Neale Donald Walsch says "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone". Ironically enough, he's from Milwaukee :)
It was a blessing to be encouraged and supported by my Mama. Her love and pure belief in me gave me more strength than I could have ever imagined I had inside me. Our experiences make us who we are. Taking risks, investing in ourselves, & "just doing this for me" decisions are necessary. Don't shy away. Take them head on!