I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Ave was not my first choice for college, in fact it was far from it. Now I know what you’re thinking, “how in the world did they end up letting this girl write a blog for the school?” Excellent question, my friend, let me take you all the way back to the beginning.
I was dead set on going to Franciscan University of Steubenville. I had visited, toured, been accepted, the whole shabang. My plan was to major in communication arts with a concentration in multimedia, my deposit was submitted and I was happily stalking potential roommates on the FUS Class of 2016 Facebook page. But as is typical in life, nothing is ever truly that simple. My mom suggested that I look at Ave Maria, just to give myself another option in case Franciscan didn’t work out. I told her she was crazy, there was no way I was going to Ave. First of all, it’s in Florida. Too hot, too far from home, and ew, palm trees. No way was this Michigan girl going to end up there. In no situation did this sound like a good idea to me.
Then one day my dear mother informed me that she had applied to Ave Maria for me and that we would be going down to visit the school. And so I was dragged, much against my will, down to southwest Florida. I arrived in Ave, and still refused to consider it as a possibility. I didn’t understand the whole concept of the town/university set up and I still had my heart set on Franciscan. But then I went on a tour, met some students and faculty, and I realized that my little heart was starting to warm up to this place. Could it be possible that I was even starting to want to come here? I went back home and made a pros and cons list between Franciscan and Ave. I also prayed about the decision a lot, and for some reason just kept feeling inexplicably drawn to Ave. Now I’m convinced that this was the Holy Spirit being like “Yo. Emma. You’re supposed to end up at Ave.” So I ended up submitting my choice to my high school, true to my procrastinating form, on the day of the deadline. I was Ave bound.
Fast forward four years later, I will be graduating from AMU in a couple months with a business major and a psychology minor, as well as experience working in both the marketing and admissions departments. Over these past couple of years I have been so blessed here at Ave. I have made life-long friends, learned from so many amazing professors, had so many once in a lifetime experiences, and grown spiritually, socially, and academically in more ways than I ever thought possible. And as difficult as it is to admit, I am thankful for my mother’s intervention. I consider Ave my true home. I have tried many times to put into words what Ave “feels” like. It is a great community, friendly, homey, peaceful, but beyond that, it feels right. I feel like I belong here, Cinderella has her castle, I have the Oratory. It’s just how it should be.