Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Connecticut to Kentucky: How I Ended Up at UK

Melanie Stoeckle, Marketing Intern

I ended up in Kentucky by accident.  Well, that was my short answer when I used to get asked that question multiple times a day as an incoming freshman.  Though it isn’t quite that simple, it was sort of by accident that I found the University of Kentucky.  Or at the very least it wasn’t planned, so maybe fate.  I haven’t decided yet.  Being a big sports fan, the first time that I had ever even heard of UK was when John Wall was playing for the basketball team.  One of my friends thought Wall was really cute, which meant we then had to watch every single UK game that they televised nationally.  Let’s just say we watched a lot of college basketball that season (UK made it to the Elite Eight).  That was the start of it all, and I literally wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for that.

But actually, I didn’t just pick this school based on their current point guard.  When it came time to start looking into colleges, I knew that I wanted to see more of the country, specifically a warmer part (winter and I don’t mix very well).  My dad and I took a big trip during September of my senior year (Brandon Knight was the point guard at that time, not as cute as Wall) in search of the perfect school, but I wasn’t interested in any of the colleges after we visited them.  We had one free day before driving back home and my dad asked me if there were any schools around us that I was even remotely interested in looking at.  Being in North Carolina at the time, UK was about a six-hour drive and I convinced my dad to go that morning.  I was really excited to see the college, primarily because of the basketball team… actually completely because of the basketball team.  We were really just going to Kentucky on a whim, and I had no idea about any other part of the school itself or if it was a good fit for me.

We arrived in Lexington that evening and got to explore the campus a little bit on our own before going to find dinner at one of my now favorite restaurants, Ramsey’s.  I was really excited for the tour the next day after seeing the gorgeous campus for the first time.  I felt like the school was a good size for me and it had a great atmosphere.  The next day, I soaked in everything that the tour guide told us about UK, and then all of a sudden it hit me.  We were standing in the middle of the Johnson Center looking at the rock-climbing wall, and that, for some odd reason that I still can’t figure, was the moment when I knew that the University of Kentucky was the school for me.  I remember leaning over and telling my dad right then and there, “Dad, this is it!  This is my school!”

Those stories that you hear about people “just knowing” that a certain school is for them?  Yeah, that happened to me.  I consider myself pretty lucky that I knew and didn’t have to go through the stress of applying to a ton of different colleges.  It’s just funny that, even as we were driving to Lexington for the tour, I had no intention of actually coming here.  I guess it is fate that I am a part of Big Blue Nation, and not by accident.  Two years later I am officially living in Lexington, and I know that choosing UK was honestly the best decision that I could have made.

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