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Ami’s Story: Green, White, and Luck

Facing College: Diverse Student Voices from Michigan State University

As told to: Avery Allen

Go right through for MSU, watch the points keep growing!

Spartan teams are bound to win; they’re fighting with a vim.

RAH! RAH! RAH!

See their team is weakening, we’re going to win this game.

Fight! Fight! Rah! Team, Fight!

Victory for MSU.

Michigan State is my home. Most people say it’s their home away from home, but not me.

But if you were to ask me a year ago today where my home was, my answer would have been Midland. That’s where I grew up. Honestly, in Midland, everything was great. During high school I was captain of cheer and I had a great job.

What more could a girl ask for in life? Well, I never took time to think about college. I just kind of went with the flow. But I didn’t know what I was going to do at all. I even second guessed if college was for me.

That’s where my parents stepped in. They said that of course it was. It was a given. I would go to college and become a nurse. My dad assumed this was the best fit for anyone who wanted a job with decent pay.

So, I went to community college for a semester, then came to Michigan State as a spring transfer. It was an easy adjustment because I was excited to just get there. As a freshman, I took mostly prerequisite classes which was all right, although somewhat blah. I’m easy going and there was no rush to get into my major. Especially because it was a major I wasn’t thrilled about. I’d just listened to my dad, and he said to go into a science field because that’s how you make money. I listened to him because I never really explored my options. I was content just being here.

But, but, but. I started to realize that I didn’t really love my major, that I didn’t really care about nursing. And here, it’s so intense, you know, so competitive. It’s not something you can do casually. Like, if you’re going to go through all that, it really helps if you love it. So I was starting to question things a little bit, but still not really exploring my options.

Then, I took a class where we had to do a project about our desired major. I was going to write about pre-nursing because I didn’t know any different. Let me tell you, I learned that the sciences were really not my thing. Which, yikes, what do I do now? I mean, what do I do for this project, and what do I do for the rest of my life?

Stereotypes and assumptions are made every day regarding a path for one’s future.  They do more work. They make more money. They are stupid for choosing that major. Is that really who they want to be? We all are guilty of this. I chose to get over all of the judging and listen to those who feel strongly about their major and, more importantly, can identify with what they have chosen. Listen to your heart. It may be super hard to get there, but do what is best for you.

But here’s where luck comes in. For that project, I got paired with a girl who had a Hillary sticker on her laptop. I told her I liked it.  I wasn’t even a big Hillary fan at the time, but I needed to say something. We got to talking and her major was world politics. I had so many questions. Like, literally, as we were talking, I was fidgeting and asking a billion questions—and that all led to me considering the FBI or CSI.

And that led me to James Madison College here at MSU. It was a whole big application process, but I got in, and now I’m taking classes and I’m learning things I never knew I liked.

And that’s what really makes MSU my home. I discovered who I really am here, what I really love. And it was all so random; that’s the best part! It’s the kind of experience that any student could have. I mean, think about it:

Why did I end up going to Michigan State?

Why did I get so lucky with my roommates?

Why did my parents think I was only capable of being a nurse?

One of the best things about MSU is how friendly everyone is. I mean, my friend from that class didn’t know she was going to help me decide my major. She just talked about something she loved when I asked her about it. I mean, things happen in odd ways. I guess I just went to college like my parents told me to, but I really feel like I discovered my own path here.

What’s great right now is that I’m a part of AOP, which stands for Academic Orientation Program. My friends always said this job would be up my alley because I’m the “camp counselor” type. I get to stay in East Lansing for the summer which is cool, because I never want to leave. We help introduce students to the campus, the community, and what the school really has to offer. I love getting to help students transition into college life . . . MSU style.

What do I tell them? I hope they’ll come to see that it’s all about the process. We have so many experiences and opportunities provided to us here at MSU and that if they just put themselves out there, they’ll find something they love.

Oh, and also:

GO GREEN! GO WHITE!


This story originally appeared in Facing College: Diverse Student Voices, a publication of The Facing Project that was organized by Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.

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