For months, my mom and I visited colleges all over the state of Louisiana. Just when we thought we'd found the perfect place, I decided to check out one last school, mostly because the school required all scholarship recipients to attend a day-long event on campus in order to learn the value of the scholarship they received. It was one of those, "Well, we may as well," type of things, expecting no big "wow factor" in return. As it turns out, wow-factor indeed. Not only did this school offer me the largest scholarship of any other, everything I saw/experienced there shouted "this is the place," and my mom and I just knew in our hearts on the drive home that day, Nicholls State University was the place for me.
Fast forward a few months, that first week of school was a little rocky. I expected to know no one going into the semester, but just before school started one of my best friends from home decided to attend Nicholls too! The issue? He was a guy, so we couldn't room together on campus. Somehow, I'd been assigned to share a room with a Junior who already had her friend group very well established (they shared a suite with us, actually), and was also practically engaged to her boyfriend. Awkward, much?
|Social media wasn't a "thing" in 2005, so this is the only photo I could find from that semester.|
Of course, I'm second from the right, and Jen is on the far right of this photo.
|We changed our room arrangement nearly every semester, so I couldn't tell you which version this was!|
At about the same time we noticed something was awry, my dad called and said that we really might want to consider heading home that afternoon instead of the following day (Sunday) as planned. He said he kept hearing that there was a storm headed toward Louisiana and it didn't sound good. At the time, the "cone of uncertainty" included all of Louisiana and he would feel much more comfortable if we could get home to prep the house in case it took a turn more for the west. And, in the event that evacuations were ordered, my parents definitely didn't want to be on the road in all of that traffic.
At that point, I don't think I'd even heard there was a storm in the gulf, much less one headed our way. I guess that fresh-college life had kept me out of the loop on those things (and remember, this was before social media was a thing). We had so many questions - is there time to take our purchases and go set up the dorm? Do I stay at school when my parents leave town? Do I go home with my parents? Will we even have school on Monday?
Without really knowing what to expect, my parents decided it would be best for me to go ahead and come home with them, following in my car so I could get back to school when necessary. We just all figured it was better to be safe than sorry, and professors would understand if I missed class out of extreme caution. I packed a few things, and figured I'd be back on campus in no time.
|Magnet letters totally became our thing, right, Jen?|