Aren’t road trips great? A few years ago I drove out to Connecticut for an interview at Yale. I know, crazy. What was I doing there?
I was a somewhat non-traditional college student, starting my studies in my mid-twenties, instead of the typical late-teens. The first two years of my four-year college education began at a local community college (which I loved, by the way).
After completing a two-year degree there, I was ready to move on to another school. Various colleges and universities presented themselves, but I ended up applying to only two, one of which was Yale, in New Haven Connecticut.
Imagine my amazement when I received a phone call telling me that I had been selected to attend an interview for the Eli Whitney program at Yale! (This program is geared toward non-traditional students.)
At the time I had recently begun dating the man who is now my husband, I had friends and family around me, and was creating a life for myself in a place that felt like home. The truth is that I had some very mixed feelings about that interview. Part of me truly hoped that I would not be accepted, so that I would not have to make the decision myself.
I had friends and family around me, and was creating a life for myself in a place that felt like home.
Together with my sister and brother-in-law, we drove out to Massachusetts to stay with our grandfather and then go to the interview the next day. It was a 12-something-hour long drive, and we arrived late in the evening.
Lying down on the couch at my grandfather’s house it was not just nerves keeping me up… I couldn’t breathe.
No, I was not having a panic attack! I have serious mold and mildew allergies, and my grandpa’s house was musty; more musty than I had remembered.
It was around midnight, and I did not know my way around the area. I was exhausted and decided to just camp out in the back seat of my car that night.
As nightmarish as the experience was, I couldn’t help but see the (almost) humorous side of the situation. I was sleeping in the back seat of my car. I was sleeping in the back seat of my car the night before my interview at Yale.
As alluring as the thought of Yale was, it was just that. A thought.
In any case, I ended up not being accepted into Yale, and my relief was real.
As alluring as the thought of Yale was, it was just that. A thought. A thought and a prove-it-to-myself aspiration: to prove that I could reach for anything and everything; that I didn’t need to be afraid or let doubt keep me back.
What memories those were; memories that I will keep with me forever and perhaps laugh about with my daughter, and maybe even grandchildren, someday.
*Please note that I did not take any of the photographs in this post. I found them on Pixabay, and they are free for use with no attribution required. https://pixabay.com/