Growing up, I always knew I would go to Lehigh.
I remember being a little girl, getting on my dad’s shoulders, attending the famous Lehigh-Lafayette rivalry games and then going to the bookstore to buy as much Lehigh gear as I could convince my dad to get. I remember eating sandwiches from The Goose and driving up the hill to see all of the Greek Chapter houses where my dad lived and made memories of his own.
My dad graduated from Lehigh in 1989 with a degree in finance. He was the star linebacker for the Lehigh football team. He was even the defensive MVP of the last Rivalry game played at Taylor Stadium.
My dad always pays homage to the place where he spent his undergraduate years, attributing his successes to Lehigh and constantly referring to his time here as the best of his life. So, curious me, I wanted to see the place getting all his praise.
Lehigh-Lafayette is the longest college football rivalry to this day. It was the reason I first visited Lehigh when I was a kid. While I rarely remember moments from my childhood, stepping into that stadium for the first time will be something I never forget.
Seeing Lehigh students so excited about their school and seeing my dad’s continued passion was inspiring to me. But in my family, Lehigh did not just call out to me.
My cousin, John Hite, attended Lehigh as well as my sister, Maddy Hite.
Maddy graduated in 2020 with a degree in journalism. She is the person who inspired me to begin writing for The Brown and White.
Maddy always used to come home during her breaks and brag about the amazing time she was having in college. Again, I really wanted to experience what a day at Lehigh truly entailed.
I begged her to let me visit and see the campus so I could understand what makes the school so great.
After enough convincing, my sister finally agreed to let me stay with her my senior year, which was also her last year at Lehigh.
As I made the drive down to Lehigh, nerves filled my body. It was the beginning of my senior year and around the time I had to decide what schools I wanted to apply to. I had yet to find a school I confidently knew would feel like home.
As a very indecisive person, I knew choosing where I wanted to spend the next four years would be difficult. Yet, arriving in Bethlehem and driving around Lehigh’s campus that day made it easy.
When I stepped on campus, I knew.
There was no tangible aspect of Lehigh that made me fall in love with the school, or the city or the campus. But, it was the idea that going here really could be the best four years of my life.
I remembered my dad telling me that Lehigh molds hard working and intelligent people. Those sentiments were very attractive to me during my college application process.
I applied to study at the Lehigh School of Business and now have officially declared myself as a finance and accounting major.
Lehigh means more to me than just getting a great degree.
Lehigh offers a connection not many people will understand. Many people have pride in their school, but when you add in a deep family connection, it is extra special.
I am saddened that I am almost halfway done with my time here. Little did I know, through navigating life as a college freshman and sophomore with the challenges COVID-19 brought, I would still love the school as much as I do as an on-campus student.