So I went to a fairly large high school (about 680 in my graduating class). Most people went onto college. Most stayed within the state or the neighboring Cheesehead state.
But I had other notions. Prior to the summer before senior year of high school, I had never been west of the state border. I had been to Fl, but really no where else. Other than the Cheesehead state. But the summer before senior year, I went on a mission trip to Montana. It was the first time I saw real mountains. And I was amazed. So I decided I would go to college in the Northwest. Around this same time, I tossed out all the college brochures for architecture and switched to chemistry. I never went to a college fair, but a boy that I was dating at the time did. So I looked through his brochures and picked up a little wallet sized fold out brochure. It had a picture of a mountain on the front cover and little words that said "Pacific Lutheran University". I tore off the back little card that you could send in for more information (this was pre-internet days - hard to imagine). So then I get the full sized brochure. And another bigger picture of Mt. Rainier. There was also a picture of the crew team and the science lab. So I sent off for more information - and a bigger picture of Rainier was sent back. And then I send in an application.
I never visited any of the 3 colleges I applied to. I did all my interviews by phone. So I am not really sure how I picked the school that I did, but I went to PLU and became a "Lute". And my first time ever to the state of WA was the day I moved into my college dorm. I got on a plane and just went. By myself. Not knowing a single sole in the entire state. But I survived. And I had a pretty darn good time. And I rowed for two years (before a darn boat crash forever ruined my shoulder). And I got to see amazing sunrises over Mt. Rainier
And I spent a lot of time in the "open science lab". I got a degree. I moved all the way to other Washington when I was done. And the first Sunday I walked into church in DC, a very old couple stopped me because they saw the "PLU" bumper sticker. Turns out they had graduated from their 50 years before (back when it was Pacific Lutheran College). I have seen PLU stickers around the country since then.
But the world kind of opened up the day that little brochure popped into my hand and I became a "Lute".