Y is for Yes! Accepted to college. Twenty-fifth of 26 posts in the April 2023 Blogging From #AtoZChallenge. Theme: Endwell: My High School Years — adding my story to the family history mix. Please join me on the journey.
During my junior year of high school, college-bound students like me began exploring our options. To help me choose where I’d go, my college-grad parents bought me a copy of Peterson’s Four-Year Colleges guide. For me, it was a dream book!
The pages were thin and tissuey, and you could look up colleges all over the U.S. by major or location. Night after night, I did just that – reading the glowing descriptions and fantasizing about campus life far from Endwell, N.Y., my small, suburban hometown.
Luckily, my parents also wanted me to have the experience of going to an away college like they had.
I planned to major in art, which narrowed my choices. My parents were also cost-conscious since they hoped to send all five of us children to college – and that further focused my search on more economical in-state schools.
I would have loved to go to New York City – my dream destination since attending the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair at fourteen. But I sensed this would be too much of a leap right out of high school. So I decided that Buffalo, New York State’s second largest city, would do.
To finalize things, my parents and I shopped around during a college night at the high school – where I recall going from table to table as college recruiters pitched their ivy halls and academic programs.
I decide on University at Buffalo
Most compelling to me was State University of New York at Buffalo – UB for short. The school had an art program (my chosen major), was in a large city (my preference), and had a lovely Main St. campus (which resonated with my parents’ college memories).
As a state school, UB was also affordable — plus the recruiters showed us amazing maps and brochures about planned campus expansions.
According to my journal, my family and I drove there for an in-person look during the summer after my junior year and picnicked afterwards:
Mon., Aug. 21, 1967: We went to Buffalo last weekend to look at the college (U. of Buf.) – It’s GREAT and I want to go there, by the way – and we ate at this county park.After that, I applied to UB during the early decision period in the fall of my senior year and prepared the required portfolio for submission to the university’s Art Dept.
My acceptance letter arrives
“When you get accepted, I’m going to buy you a beer mug,” my mom promised. She and dad had sorority/fraternity beer mugs from college, so she saw this as a symbolic rite of passage.
Then it was just a matter of waiting for the letter of acceptance from UB – which I tried not to be too nervous about.
Finally, one afternoon while I was shopping in nearby Endicott, the letter from UB arrived. My mom picked me up at the Georgia Hanks store, where I was buying art supplies.
When I got into the car, Mom didn’t say a word – she just smiled, reached into her bag, and handed me a beer mug. Yes! I’d been accepted to college.
Back home, my dad was also all smiles and jokingly said, “I’m going to give you the advice my mother gave me when I went to college: keep your grades up, don’t join a fraternity and don’t sign up for the football team.” Ha-ha — as if!
And soon after, the Art Dept. accepted my portfolio, qualifying me to be an art major!
First steps into adult life
With the application process over, I was excited to be heading to college — a long anticipated goal. But I also wondered what my new campus life would be like.
Comparing notes with my classmates, I was surprised to learn I was the only one going to UB — and just one other Maine-Endwell student was already there, my classmate Paula’s older brother Gary who I didn’t know well.
So it was official: big city, big campus, big distance from home, big steps into adult life and — big deep breath — I’d be making them on my own.
Up next, Z is for Zip Code changes: Graduation & my fond farewell to Endwell. Please stop back for my last A-to-Z 2023 post!
© 2023 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.