By the beginning of my senior year in high school my mind was made up. I would go to the University of Colorado for college. It had a large Jewish population, a good social work department, and a beautiful campus nestled among the Rocky Mountains. My acceptance letter came in October and just as I was poised to send in the registration forms and check, the winter weather began in Kansas.
I’d never been a big fan of snow. It was pretty but it was also cold. Getting dressed in the dark mornings of winter always seemed to take up so much time that there was little left to eat a warm breakfast. Layer upon layer of clothing restricted my movements and made me feel cramped and irritable. The ice meant it was dangerous to drive and not so safe to walk, either.
So when that first snowstorm hit Wichita that fall I began to have second thoughts about the wisdom of my college decision. Yes, U of C was a picture-book perfect campus but I had only visited there in the summer when classes were not in session. What would it be like for the nine months of the academic year?
|University of Colorado Campus|
At that point I decided I had better go back to the drawing board. I checked out the blue handbook at the Temple library that had become like a bible to me. It was entitled A Jewish Student’s Guide to College. Inside were lists of universities all over the United States with the number of Jewish students enrolled and the Jewish organizations on each campus.
I certainly didn’t want a school in a cold climate. Nor did I want one too far away from Kansas. And I didn’t want to spend the next four years of my life in a big city. My options were rather limited but after reading and rereading the booklet I found my place. Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona!
Truth be told, I’d made some mistakes in my calculations. Never good at geography I had confused Arizona’s location with that of New Mexico and I was five states away from my childhood home. Between the time the Jewish college guide was first printed and I read it, Tempe changed from a small town to a suburb that abutted Phoenix, a city that seemed huge to me after growing up in Wichita. Once in Arizona I began wondering if I’d made a poor decision.
However, unbeknown to me, when I was a junior in high school a young man from Chicago was deciding what university he would go to. His first choice was also The University of Colorado. After being accepted, though, he too changed his mind. There were so many social action activities on that campus he was afraid he would never go to class. So he opted for ASU.
He’d been learning there three months when I came to the conclusion that my future wasn’t in Colorado, but rather in Arizona. Was it really the snow that made me change my mind? Or was it because HaShem knew I needed to go to the desert to find my perfect match? For, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, that young man, was my soulmate and became my husband. Meeting him was definitely worth the disadvantage of being far from my family and living in a big city. Obviously HaShem knew what was best for me.