In a pickup truck the same age as me, I drove under a bridge—a bridge that spelled the words “Lawrence University” across its torso; an immense tattoo one couldn’t help but notice.
And while I drove, hands clenched on the steering wheel, sweaty because the truck I drove didn’t have any air-conditioning to boast about, my mind churned a river of thoughts. I thought about the other colleges I visited, how in each one, no matter how beautiful they were, I could not see myself there. And how even when I hit the “accept” button, finally choosing to attend Lawrence, I still didn’t feel anything.
Ever since I started high school, I heard the phrases the seniors used when they would talk about why they chose a certain school. How it just felt right—like they knew from the moment they set foot on campus that they belonged there. And I can honestly say, for the longest time, I had no idea what they were talking about. But when I was driving, sweat glistening on my forehead in the eighty degree heat, passing underneath that bridge three weeks before move-in day, I did. For almost exactly five seconds—this expansion in my chest, a light and airy buzzing. It was like some fairy had decided to strip the tension there, the angst of starting school, a new life with new friends…and I was floating in certainty.
And then it was gone.
The memory of those five seconds helped me pack my bags, hug my parents goodbye, and say hello to life at Lawrence. If there are still Lawrentians out there who have not felt this—be patient. It takes time for the right fairy to find you and convince you that you are now on a path toward a greater tomorrow.