Thursday, May 12, 2016

My College Years

Anne and me
First off, thank you for all your wonderful ideas of how to celebrate one million pageviews! I'm going to talk with Mr. Handsome and get back to y'all soon.

Remember when you submitted questions and feedback to my "Ask Ellie" post? I look at those comments frequently and have been using them to plan my blog posts. (Feel free to continue to submit ideas, either as a comment or via email--nashvillewife@gmail.com.)

A few of you asked me to blog about my college years, so here goes!

I chosen a state school with a student population of more than 40,000. Not only was tuition significantly cheaper than private or out-of-state schools, but I had heard from multiple sources that the journalism department was very strong. (With scholarships, my education costs were very reasonable.) I also had a friend from church who was a sophomore in architecture and had great things to say about the academic strength of the university.

My friend had told me about the house she lived in on campus, so I visited and absolutely fell in love with it. Of course I was nervous about attending such a large, public school, but she assured me that this house would provide a close-knit community of caring girls to lean on.

I ended up being accepted into both the university and the house, and my friend's words proved true. I was blessed to be able to stay in that house during all five of my semesters on campus, so I never had to experience true dorm life.

I lived with 37 other Christian girls in a four-story house. We did all our own cooking and cleaning, which meant we paid significantly less than those who lived in the dorms. Next door was a house full of Christian guys who kept an eye on us. (Don't worry, we had plenty of rules--which we made--to prevent shady things from happening.)

Each girl shared a study room with one or two others, although we slept dormitory-style, with 20 girls in one large attic room and 18 in the other.

My study room in freshman year
You may be surprised to hear that I have never slept better in my life than I did during college! Even though everyone went to bed at different times and the door was constantly opening and closing, no one ever complained. I rarely ever woke up. The room I was in--called the "warm dorm"--was kept at a constant 65 degrees, and the other--the "cold dorm"--was somewhere between 15 and 50 degrees, depending on the season. (In the winter, they kept the windows open...)

Every week, each girl prepared one or two meals for the entire house and cleaned one or two areas; bathrooms were always the worst. Every Sunday after church, we had the guys over for lunch, which meant we had to make food for 70 people. (The boys prepared dinner for us on Saturday nights, but let's just say that many of the girls elected to make their own food.)

We had plenty of social events and study parties, and there was always someone to talk to. It truly was a great way to spend my college years! I'll be forever grateful to God for the life-long friendships I made while living there, especially the one with a gal named Anne. She introduced me to her family, and a certain brother of hers and I really hit it off. LOL. Click here to read more about how I met Mr. Handsome.

Oh, and by the way, I graduated with a bachelor's in journalism and concentrations in both business and public relations.

64 comments:

  1. Anonymous5/12/2016

    Sounds like a very valuable and rewarding experience in your life. I studied English Lit in university and lived in a dorm first year, and then in a house with a few female roommates after that, and I remember that time SO fondly now. It must have been so much fun to live with a great group of like-minded girls.
    -Sharon :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was wonderful to live with like-minded girls. College campuses can be dark places, as I'm sure you know, but I was blessed to find great friends, bother at the house and in some of my classes.

      Ellie

      Delete
  2. Sounds alike a ton of fun! How old are you right now.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous5/12/2016

    How did you only spend 5 semesters on campus? Did you take some distance classes the rest of the time, or did you graduate in only 2 and a half years?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous5/13/2016

      In one of her older post she take a full course load to beable to get done in 2 and half years.


      Your lucky your parents didn't mind you living next door to guys.

      My dad would have had a fit if my sisters lived next door to guys.

      Delete
    2. I took 18-24 credits on campus each semester and then did gen-eds online through a community college during the summers. During my sixth semester, I lived with my brother and worked while taking my last 2 classes online. So I graduated in 3 years.

      Blessings,
      Ellie

      Delete
  4. Anonymous5/12/2016

    That was an interesting post Ellie!
    It's almost like you didn't want your college years to end! Lol.
    Poor guys. I bet they tried their best. Lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! It was a wonderful experience, and although I was very sad to leave the house, I was also looking forward to the next step (marriage). LOL, two guys expressed interested in me while I was living there. They were sweet guys, but I politely turned them down. Now, they are both engaged to friends of mine. :)

      Ellie

      Delete
  5. Anonymous5/12/2016

    What college did you attend?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A large state school. :)

      Ellie

      Delete
  6. Shela G5/12/2016

    Seems like you you had a wonderful college experience!! Great Memories you will always have. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My pleasure, Shela. :)

      Have a blessed day!
      Ellie

      Delete
  7. why only 5 semesters?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I took heavy loads of classes during those 5 semesters and took online classes during the summers. In my sixth semester, I lived with my brother and worked, while taking my last 2 classes online.

      Blessings,
      Ellie

      Delete
    2. Anonymous5/13/2016

      Did you start pushing to finish college so you could be free to get married?

      Delete
  8. Anonymous5/12/2016

    The picture of Anne and you, - in an orange t shirt with a red flower in your hair is cute because it looks Hawaiian.
    That is funny because you make everything seem like it was a paradise for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well thank you! Each semester, we took pictures as a house. That picture is from my first semester, and the theme was "fall colors."

      Ellie

      Delete
  9. Anonymous5/12/2016

    It is interesting they put more emphasis on study rooms tha n sleeping rooms, it could have been designed the other way around.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suppose that's true. Perhaps they just expected college students to spend more time studying (and/or socializing) than sleeping. LOL.

      Ellie

      Delete
  10. Anonymous5/12/2016

    What did you cook for 70?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's see, we did chili, lasagna, Italian beef, and other similar dishes. When it was just us girls, we usually ate quite healthy meals, but when the boys came over, we knew we needed crowd-pleasers. Haha.

      Ellie

      Delete
  11. Anonymous5/12/2016

    Wow, that sounds amazing! I wish my school offered a housing option like that. If you don't mind me asking, how many square feet was the house and how many bedrooms/bathrooms did it have? Was it built to house 40 college students or was it a normal house that was simply used for that purpose? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The house is quite big, and it was built for that purpose. It has a basement (exercise space and space for guests) and 4 floors, including 11 bathrooms (only 8 that are near bedrooms) and approximately 16 study rooms. I'm not sure how many square feet it is, but if I had to guess, I would say 5,000-6,000.

      Blessings,
      Ellie

      Delete
  12. Anonymous5/12/2016

    How do they 'accept' people into the house? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was never part of the committee that reviewed the applications, but they mostly asked questions that would tell them if the applicants were willing to obey house rules and live cooperatively with the other girls. We did our own cooking and cleaning, so the last thing we wanted was someone who wouldn't pull her own weight. LOL.

      Ellie

      Delete
  13. Anonymous5/12/2016

    This was great - your college blog posts are some of my favorites! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm glad to hear that! What other types of posts would you like to see?

      Ellie

      Delete
    2. Anonymous5/13/2016

      I'll be heading off to college in the fall, so I'd love to hear about groups/clubs you enjoyed in college, study/time management tips, and what a typical college day looked like for you! :)

      Delete
  14. Anonymous5/13/2016

    Hi, Ellie! If you don't mind me asking, how did you pay for college? Did you have to take out any loans?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was blessed to have my parents offer to pay for school. I also worked multiple jobs all through high school, so I was able to pay for some of my living costs.

      Ellie

      Delete
    2. Anonymous5/13/2016

      What jobs did you do during high school?

      Delete
  15. Anonymous5/13/2016

    That sounds like a party living with 37 other girls!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous5/13/2016

    Seriously, I am curious, in a four story house how did they manage to have twelve, or whatever the real number was, study rooms? We're the study rooms cold?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some of the rooms were a little too hot or cold, but for the most part, temperature control wasn't a huge problem.

      Ellie

      Delete
  17. Anonymous5/13/2016

    Great post, Ellie! So fun to hear about your college days! Sounds like it was a wonderful experience.
    I was thinking a fun way to celebrate one million page views would be a giveaway of some type. Maybe a few historical Christian fiction books. Some great authors include Julie Klassen, Laura Frantz, Lynn Austin, Beverly Lewis, Karen Witemeyer, Jody Hedlund...and many others.
    ~ A "bookworm" from Michigan :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those are great ideas! I'll add them to my list.

      Thanks for being a loyal reader, bookworm from Michigan. :)
      Ellie

      Delete
  18. Anonymous5/13/2016

    I really like hearing about the way you made important choices and how great it turned out. All the best. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! And thanks for reading. :)

      Ellie

      Delete
  19. Anonymous5/13/2016

    You and Anne look like you could be sisters!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We hear that a lot. LOL :)

      Ellie

      Delete
  20. Anonymous5/13/2016

    You and Anne look so much alike in that picture. You look like sisters

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous5/13/2016

    Ellie, have you ever considered doing anything other than freelancing with your degree? Sounds like you enjoyed your college years. I just managed to claw my way out of school after 2 degrees, a post-grad, and 7 years. Luckily all that school got me a job in my field! College was a great life experience for me, it is always nice to hear about other peoples experiences. Thank you! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have thought about it, but I really like having the flexibility to pursue multiple business ventures at once. What field are you in?

      Ellie

      Delete
    2. Michelle5/23/2016

      Flexibility is great. You seem to have found yourself some great opportunities so far.
      I am a biologist. Currently, I am working in the field (literally) on a long-term vegetation reclamation/monitoring project in a city where the vegetation was very heavily impacted by industrial contamination many years ago. I get paid to go hiking and nerd out about plants and wildlife all day, so happy!

      Delete
  22. Andrea5/13/2016

    I recall you mentioning that your parents are from Canada. I'm a graduate of the U of Toronto and we had lots of American students come to our school for cheaper tuition, did you consider any Canadian schools? My University Residence was kind of like your dorm, it was all women. It sort of felt like a sorority, but greek life really isn't a thing in Canada. Who did the grocery shopping at your dorm? Seriously, that would have been a big job!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're correct. Good memory! I applied to Carleton University but ended up choosing a school in the states.

      Two girls did the grocery shopping, and they were exempt from other household duties. It was a big job! :)

      Ellie

      Delete
  23. Anonymous5/13/2016

    Hi Ellie! That's sounds like such a blast!!!!! Do you by any chance have a picture of the house? And please tell more college stories, this post was SOOO interesting! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a blast! I don't have a picture, but it was a pretty plain looking house, 4 stories and a mix of siding and brick. I'll try to think of some more college stories. :)

      Ellie

      Delete
  24. Anonymous5/14/2016

    HI Ellie!
    I love your blogs so much! This post was very interesting as well as the comments. I saw that there is a picture of your family on the wall.. Would you share one on the blog?
    Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm thrilled to hear that you enjoy my blogs! Sure, I'll share a family picture. :)

      Ellie

      Delete
  25. What were the house rules?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lor,

      We had rules about helping with cleaning and cooking, attending house meetings, having boys over, and keeping common areas clean.

      Ellie

      Delete
  26. Anonymous5/15/2016

    When I went to college some Friday nights they turned the dorm cafeteria into a social hall, sold beer and played rock and roll music and lots of people went to those events. However I would advise anyone now to not go to those events, they might just get a person somewhere but it is not where one wants to be. Come to Christ and go from. There like you seem to have done Ellie. Now you are somewhere most girls would want to be!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the encouragement! There are definitely a lot of questionable things that happen on college campuses. It's important to choose your friends wisely.

      Ellie

      Delete
  27. Anonymous5/15/2016

    Are you guys expecting to start a family any time soon?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're waiting on God's timing. :)

      Ellie

      Delete
  28. Anonymous5/16/2016

    Living with so many people would have driven me insane!!I need my personnal space! Hahaha! At my university, residences were appartment buildings. For my first 2 years, I lived in a 4 bedrooms appartment, with 2 girls and a guy. It was nice, but... Living with strangers is not always easy. After my second year, I moved in with my boyfriend. Best decision ever! We were so happy, and still are, almost 10 years later. I found the love of my life in my first year of university, and it made my years there so much easier. I saw my parents every 2-3 months so having him by my side helped me fight these moments where I was so homesick.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's funny because I also need my personal space, but somehow I survived and ended up really enjoying it. :)

      Blessings,
      Ellie

      Delete
  29. what state school did you go too?

    ReplyDelete
  30. Anonymous5/21/2016

    Hi! Are you and Anne the same age or is she a little bit older? Just wondering, since I think she's the one already having her second baby (is she?). :)
    Btw it's always interesting to hear of life experiences that are so far from my own.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Anonymous5/21/2016

    Have you heard Lady Gaga's song about college campuses violence on women? The song is called "Till it happens to you" and I think it won a few awards. It's very good, shows a lot of feelings and highlights a serious problems (as you said in your post and comments).

    ReplyDelete