Sunday, February 9, 2014

What if I had never come to Loyola?

View from my Freshman year dorm

There's a life-changing question there. How would my life be different if I had gone somewhere else for my four-year degree.

Although I miss home terribly now, I probably wouldn't have gone to anywhere closer to home than I am now, because at age 18, I wanted to go as far away from Paris IL as I could.  I did strongly consider Indiana University.

Therefore, for the sake of argument, let's say I went to IU. What would be different about my life?

  1. I wouldn't have joined Alpha Chi Omega, or at least, I wouldn't have the same group of sisters as I do now.
  2. I would never have gotten into a mess with the Loyola theatre people, which prompted me to change my major
  3. I may not have changed my major to journalism. 
  4. I wouldn't be living in this nice apartment that I love. 
  5. I wouldn't have gotten the job I have a White House Black Market. 
  6. I wouldn't hate Chicago as much as I do now. 
  7. I'd be able to go home a lot more than I do now. 
  8. I'd have completely different friends. 
  9. The paddles on my wall would be from different women. 
  10. I'd never have found that perfect, red dress from that vintage shop off the Addison stop. 
  11. I wouldn't have become Catholic (or at least it is very unlikely that I would have had the same access to the RCIA program)
  12. I wouldn't be in a rough patch in my relationship.
  13. I would never have met Kyle. 

The bottom line is, my life would be much different. Will I ever know what my life would have been if I had chosen IU over Loyola? No, and that's the thing about life: You never know what it's going to bring.

Take those last two examples, yeah if I were at IU, I probably wouldn't be stressing over my relationship right now. I wouldn't be in this rough patch after having dated the same guy for two years. My life would probably be easier right at this second because I wouldn't have so much on my mind. On the other end of that spectrum though, I would never have even met Kyle. So, the choice I made to come to Loyola has impacted my life at a higher level than just causing me stress.
Sometimes people aren't good at looking back and seeing the bigger picture in that way. We tend to live for the here and now, and if the here and now isn't good, we make rash decisions rather than thinking things out.

Life is a series of choices, and I made the choice to come to Loyola. Do I absolutely love it all the time? Well, no, but I do know a lot more about myself because of it. For example, I know that I would not have liked the world of musical theatre as I thought I would. I also know that I love to write and read teleprompters. I know that I prefer wide open spaces of the country to the confines of a city. At a larger school in the middle of nowhere, I would never have found these things out, because I never would have tried the alternative. I may wonder what life in the city would be like... but now I know. I think we can all agree that knowing is infinitely better than wondering.

Knowledge hides on the outside of one's comfort zone. The funny thing is, I didn't know what my comfort zone was until my Loyola experience. Now I know where I'd be comfortable: Anywhere but a city. I know I want to be closer to family, and I know that I want to spend the rest of my life with Kyle.

Although I know for sure I would be more comfortable at a different school closer to home, that doesn't mean I should be at such a school at the moment. That's life, you have to stick out the rough patches in order to get to the most awesome part of your life.

Keep it Classy, Keep it Country.
Gretta Patrick <3

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