Last weekend I went on a mini vacation to Maggie Valley, North Carolina. This trip used to be a Golding family tradition. We used to go every year and meet up with my extended family from South Carolina. Due to a few conflicts we haven’t been able to make the trip for the past 3 years. On these trips, I have always been used to being the baby of the family: eating at the kids’ table, eagerly awaiting the trip to the candy store, and being a total attention hog. It was a major wake up call for me when, in the span of three short years, everything had changed.
Suddenly, I was an adult. I had to sit at the “old person” table, and forfeit being the center of attention to my 9 year old niece.. With this new title of adult came the responsibility of grown up conversations over meals. I believe myself to be pretty mature, so it wasn’t a scary thing for me, but I certainly wasn’t accustomed to that. During one of the three delicious, Memaw-made meals, someone casually asked, “You’re in college, right?”
Whoa, this took me way off guard. How did they not know if I was in college? Had it really been that long since I had seen them?! I told them I had been at LMU for three years now, and that just led to a table full of odd looks. Then someone finally asked, “What is LMU?”
I quickly spouted off, “Lincoln Memorial University,” in my most proud voice. The looks I got were priceless. Being from South Carolina, none of them really knew what LMU was. Of course they were familiar with the name of President Lincoln, but they had no idea that there was a university named for him. So I began to explain where the university was, how beautiful the campus was, and how much I love attending LMU.
Then they threw me another curve ball. They asked, “Why did you choose LMU?” And I was like:
After regaining my composure, I began to really ponder the question at hand. Had I ever really thought of the answer to this question, myself? I mean, surely there is a reason behind my decision to attend LMU. I love this university, but I couldn’t just tell them that I loved LMU. That wouldn’t even answer their question. They asked why I chose LMU not how I feel about it.
I figured the easiest way to properly answer my family was to start from the beginning.
I explained to them that I am about to begin my junior year. I chose LMU for several reasons, but mostly because, from day one, I loved it. In fact, I loved it before day one.
I told them about my sister attending LMU a few years before I enrolled there. They all laughed, knowing how much I always followed in my sister’s footsteps. It seems that I even did the “stereotypical” little sister move and followed her to college, too. When she went on campus tours, I got to tag along, much to her dismay. I mean, what cool, upcoming college student wants her little sister following her around on a college campus?
We soon were whisked around campus on an awesome tour led by an LMU student. After a delicious lunch, we were directed to the academic showcase. Here all of the school’s departments had tables set up with flyers, photos, and information concerning their majors. They were all so friendly and willing to answer any questions the students had, and they even answered the crazy questions that a 14 year old asked. For example: “Do you allow cats on campus?” and “How do you keep your mustache like that?” The faculty is beyond exceptional! I was even more excited when I saw the amazing housing facilities. They were different than what I would have expected. They were apartment-style rather than dormitory-style facilities. The student tour guide showed us her own room all decorated. I was ready to move in that day. Too bad it wasn’t my turn to go to college, right?! I couldn’t believe I had to wait 4 years for this.
When I first saw the campus, I fell in love. I was overwhelmed with an indescribable feeling of being home. I found it really hard to actually explain this feeling to my family, so I compared the feeling to coming home after having been on vacation for a long time. I’m still not sure that I could explain how I felt that day to anyone. It was incredible.
I then told them that when it was my turn to apply to colleges, I had my heart so set on LMU that it was the only college I applied for. This was an extremely precarious move, but it was a risk I was more than willing to take. Of course, now the conversation got a bit sidetracked by an evaluation of my stubbornness. I laughed along, knowing how incredibly stubborn I am. I continued on telling them how everyone in my household breathed a sigh of relief when my acceptance letter came in the mail about a month later.
As I was finishing up my story, I thought to myself, “Wow, I’ve never really reflected on this.” It was so interesting to look back on that process of choosing LMU. I was amazed at how much of an impact the university has had on my life, thus far. Choosing LMU was really one of the best decisions of my life.
Because I like to talk (and it was relevant to their question/my story), I decided to tell them about one of the cool things I do on campus. I asked them if they remembered the tour I told them about taking. When they finally nodded their heads, I told them that I became one of those tour guides! It’s quite possibly the coolest job ever, and I get to tell everyone how amazing LMU is. I could never stop saying good things about this school. Eventually I had to give someone else in my family a chance to talk, though. So my story-time ended there.
Like I said, LMU is like a big family, and you can really get a feel for that type of community even during a 45 minute tour. So if any of you are interested in LMU, I would definitely recommend calling the admissions department at 423.869.6280 and setting up a tour! We do private family tours at 10am and 2pm, Monday through Saturday, as well as many events throughout the year. We would love to see you! Come experience the LMU family! New Railsplitters are always welcome!!