Here’s something I try not to tell too many people when I first meet them: I was homeschooled.

In the 1990s, it was nothing for me to expect people to be shocked at my choice of education, oftentimes bombarding me with questions like “Do you wear your pajamas all day?” or “What’s 2 plus 2?” (I was 15 when someone asked me that). It became tiring, to say the least, to have so many strangers express their opinions on a subject about which they often knew nothing.

During this time, I also met people who told me exactly what being a homeschooler would do for my future: I would never learn to socialize with my peers, and I would never go to college. Pretty hard to hear when you’re 13.

By the time I was 18 and finished with high school, I believed all that had been told to me, so college, of course, was out of the question, in my mind. Even so, I used to sometimes go past UW-Milwaukee or Marquette University with a longing in my heart, wishing that I could be just like everyone else and attend an institution of higher education. Well, fast-forward a few years, add the measured advice of a good friend, a dose of courage and a dash of humor, and you’ll see me walking on the Marquette University campus during the fall of 2004, just like everyone else. Turns out, same as nearly all universities and colleges in the United States, of course, Marquette accepted homeschoolers. Go figure.

It took me a long time to choose the college I wanted, when I finally got the nerve to do so. Much like those in my article on pages 4 and 5, I had many requirements and preferences on where I wanted to attend. After looking at UW-Milwaukee, University of Pennsylvania and Northwestern University (I can still hear my dad thanking God that I didn’t choose the nearly $40,000 a year university), I settled on Marquette. It was here that I learned from great teachers, was sent across the world to serve in South Africa, made amazing friends, learned the art of a “hippie freak-out,” and even managed to find my future husband …all the while learning and growing in my Catholic faith. 

Don’t you just love it when people are wrong?