This mom plans to be a vocal Trinity ambassador in North Texas

Trinity U students with frame at Spring Family Showcase

by Cat Schlueter—

Trinity University had never even been on our radar because in the North Texas burg of Azle where we reside, there is not a lot of marketing or promoting of schools other than state schools, TCU, and other colleges around the Dallas Fort Worth MetroPlex. My plan to become an ambassador for Trinity will hopefully change that.

Our very first college visit was based upon a recommendation of my daughter’s former babysitter, but after touring that school, my daughter Hayley decided to look at other similar schools and BOOM/GOOGLE here came Trinity University and Southwestern University in Georgetown. The backdrop of all this was her dad, who holds a doctorate in chemistry (which is what Hayley plans to pursue her degree in) LOUDLY cheering her on to go to A&M or the best, in his opinion, UT Austin.

Fast forward to January of 2016 when Hayley and I attended our first Trinity in Focus visit and I had to bite my tongue because I liked it so much, I wanted to switch bodies with her like Lindsay Lohan did with Jamie Lee Curtis in “Freaky Friday” so that I could be the one on this college search journey. Hayley is an introvert and is very hard to read...so when we left the campus to go back to the hotel, I was just waiting to hear her opinion...in her own words. She got in the car and said, "I really, really enjoyed that visit and I can totally see myself fitting in here - thank you for bringing me here." I cannot express strongly enough how ecstatic I was that she felt this way about Trinity after that visit because it became the foundation and comparison for everything else she looked at afterwards.

She visited A&M shortly thereafter but it was just not her style (and she couldn't care less about the Aggie ring) so next up was UT Austin. We visited there and her dad/my husband was obviously VERY interested in this University. After all, it has one of the strongest chemistry programs in the country. And hey, let's not overlook or forget that it costs a LOT less than any private university. Our visit to UT was during summer, so we could not get a true feel for what the campus would be like when 20-30,000 bodies would be hustling and bustling about. Still, Hayley liked it and decided she would definitely apply there. Our next visit was to UT Dallas and it was a set-up much like Trinity in Focus but this particular day was designated for auto-admit students, and yup, Hayley was an auto admit. She didn't get the warm and fuzzy feeling there so decided that if she got accepted to UT or Trinity, those would be the two she would decide between for her college selection.

In the meantime, dad had actually done some RESEARCH (imagine that, a scientist doing research) about Trinity and learned about its tremendous reputation AND the new Center for the Sciences and Innovation. So we went to yet another Trinity in Focus day with the whole family and he walked away saying it was just as great as I had told him it was. His objection and the issue at hand was still PRICE TAG. Long story short, Hayley applied early action to Trinity University and did the regular state application for UT Austin.

As the mom who wants to know everything about my daughters and knows them like I do, I couldn't stop thinking that if Hayley were to go to UT, she would "disappear" in the crowd. And she would sit in the middle or back of a big lecture hall, and if she did not understand something, she would probably just decide to skip class instead of asking the TA's or taking advantage of office hours.

Still, I kept my mouth shut while continuing to send Trinity blurbs and highlights that I would find from all over the web. I would send these links to both Hayley and her dad.

Trinity U student with LeeRoy the Tiger
Incoming first year student Hayley Schlueter with LeeRoy the Trinity tiger mascot.
Now came the waiting game. And, WOW, was that wait excruciatingly frustrating! More for me than for Hayley because she was just in the "whatever happens happens" mode at this time. THEN December rolled around. EARLY Merry Christmas from Trinity University with the "You're in" packet AND a surprise scholarship to boot! Hayley was sooooooo excited. I still think I was more excited than she was. And her dad? Being the fiscally skeptic dude that he is, he remarked that it was wonderful but "let's see what happens with UT." So more waiting and more waiting still. Finally, during the last week of decisions coming out from UT, Hayley said to me, "Don't tell dad but I have really been thinking about this and Trinity is my top choice so even if I get into UT, Trinity is where I want to go." Heck no I wasn't going to tell her dad she said that. I was jumping up and down inside though for sure. UT offered her admissions through CAP and it was at that point she told her dad she would be a Trinity Tiger.

Relief is an understatement...I could finally decompress because I knew and know that Trinity will not only perfect for her, but she will be good for Trinity. My daughter ended her high school career in the top 10% of her class at Azle High School and she is going to Trinity University in San Antonio with the intention of being a chemistry major and ultimately going to graduate school for pharmaceutical research.

But she will be encouraged to be engaged in so many things from day one. And she will meet so many people who will influence her in so many positive ways. Heck, she may even change her major. Who knows? The opportunities at Trinity, the potential to study abroad, and all of the new things to which she will be exposed shall be the foundation for how she impacts this world. And she loves basketball so I am pretty sure she will become a Spurs fan. She hasn't experienced the Riverwalk like it needs to be experienced. And during our last visit for admitted Tigers, I finally got to take them to the Tower of the Americas which I think is pretty darned neat.

I think I have bought her at least $250 worth of Trinity shirts and gear...she has been driving around with the Trinity University decal on the back window of her car, and her keys are on a Trinity University key ring, and her name is prominently displayed on what is referred to as "The Student Wall of Fame" which is a huge framed white board by the counseling office which has printed and laminated senior student names under which is listed the college they are planning to attend (or Trade School or Armed Forces branch, etc.). She is excited and proud to be able to call Trinity University the college she will be attending.

Four years from right now, she will have had experiences at Trinity University that many of her current classmates will not have the good fortune of experiencing because they may have not had parents or guidance of people who could tell them about the benefits of a university like this and about the availability of financial aid.

Trinity U student and mom
Hayley and Cat Schlueter
I am a mom that will not "hover" when she gets to San Antonio...I am confident she will find her way. But I will be supportive and sing praises about Trinity with all who I meet. And I will be engaged as much as I can with all of the other responsibilities I juggle.

And I will read every TU blog that pops up in my FB and Instagram feed with genuine interest and pride. Pride that my daughter, Hayley Julia Schlueter, chose Trinity University for the next step of her educational journey.

#TigerPride!

About Cat

Cat Schlueter is a human resources manager and is pretty excited, if you weren’t sure from her blog post, that her daughter will be an incoming first-year in August.

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