Choose Your Own Adventure

Originally published June 2017

We make hundreds of decisions every day.

From the moment we wake up until we go to bed, it’s a rare length of time we go without choosing something. Every day is another page in our own Choose Your Own Adventure book. Do we hit the snooze button? Shave our legs? Froot Loops or egg whites? Highway or surface streets to work? Black coffee or latte? Internet or email? Raise your hand and ask a question at a meeting or play dumb? Volunteer for a project or hide in the bathroom? Mac and cheese or pizza rolls for dinner? Fold laundry or watch TV? Jimmy F or Jimmy K?

And those are the easy ones. (I lie. Choosing a caffeine delivery method can be a bitch at 6 a.m.) What about things like job offers? Or pulling your kids from a school? Move? Marry? Divorce? Surgery?

So when our blogging community manager says, “Write about a decision you made that made your life better or worse,” what seems like a wealth of material becomes paralyzing. Where do I even start? Choosing the Heath Dilly Bar at work today seemed like a really really good choice until I was on the exercise bike early this evening. (Again, I lie. Choosing ice cream is never wrong.)

So rather than focusing on my choice of husband, deciding to procreate, leaving bad jobs for better ones, or eating dessert first — all really good choices that have altered my life for the better — I thought I would take this particular blog entry to point out a decision that probably had one of the biggest impacts on my life — choosing to become a Spartan.

In hindsight, some decisions seem to be less a choice and more the machinations of destiny. My college choice was one of those, for sure. I applied to four schools and was accepted at three. It came down to Madison and East Lansing. And honestly, it was a really hard choice. I loved MSU’s campus, but having spent several teen years in Milwaukee, I saw Madison as a sort of return to my roots. And had it not been for being waitlisted for student housing, I might have a closet full of red and white instead of green and white.

I chose MSU in spite of the fact I knew no one, and would be more than four hours from home. In spite of its bitterly cold winters. In spite of its scary large lecture halls and massive campus. I chose MSU, because having grown up moving from state to state every few years, I could appreciate a new adventure and felt I was ready for one.

I, like everyone, have made my fair share of really bad decisions. Baaaaaad. But I will never regret my choice in colleges. For the path to East Lansing was the path to adulthood. Had I not gone to State, I would have never made the lifelong friends I made. Never have taken the occasional road trip to Sarnia to drink at a country western bar. Or to New York City to travel to the top of the World Trade Center. Never been challenged by profs from all kinds of backgrounds. Never learned how to play euchre. Never volunteered to give student tours of the dairy farm. Never interned for state government or learned how to make stromboli in the dorm snack shop. Never learned how to write well and think critically. Never appreciated mashed potatoes as a Sunday morning breakfast staple. Never have walked from a house party one May evening to a concert at a local bar and met the love of my life.

God bless the Green and White. Forever a Spartan.

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