Kay Padilla

Assistant Allons Editor

Every high school senior has to
eventually decide their future path.
Whether that be college or other career
paths is entirely up to them. I was no
different; I applied to UL Lafayette in
November of 2021 and got accepted.
I was so set on coming to UL Lafayette
that I did not apply to other universities.
I thought my parents would be fine with
me attending UL Lafayette; they weren’t
so happy.
They told me that I was selfish for
not choosing a school closer to home.
I’m from Houma, so Nicholls State
University is closer to me. But, I hated
the simple thought of going there. I
hated it so much; I purposely applied
late and missed out on the first time
freshman scholarships.
If I would’ve gone to Nicholls I would
have to commute daily and I would
miss out on the entire point of being in
college. The point of being in college
is to have a sense of freedom and the
ability to choose what you do with your
If I stayed in my home and went to the
local university, I would never have that
freedom. In my household if you live
under my parents’ roof, you adhere to
their rules. But that is pretty common in
a Hispanic household, so I’m not really
holding that against my parents.
I also did not want to go to the
university most of my graduating class
was attending. I needed a change of
scenery and to meet new people. I was
set on going to UL Lafayette, whether I
had to pay for it on my own or with my
parents’ help. I just had to somehow get
my parents on board.
After a few months of trying to get
my parents to let me go to UL Lafayette,
I took matters into my own hands.
I applied for housing and freshman
orientation. Signing my life away in the
housing contract was my way of insuring
my parents that I was not going to go
down easily. That was my first selfish

choice, deciding where I wanted my life
to go.
After going back and forth one night,
I managed to get my parents to let me go
to UL Lafayette. I still don’t know how I
managed it, but I did. I took on my first
curveball of many. The next curveball
was becoming my own person.
I was never able to make my own
choices before. Going out to eat or
simply walking around with my friends
was foreign. I felt that at any moment my
parents would round the corner and ask
me why I didn’t inform them I was out
of my dorm.
It was a fear instilled because of
years of constantly having to assure my
parents that I indeed was where I said I
was going to be. As the weeks went on,
that fear dissipated and I was fully able
to enjoy myself. My high school friends
also attend UL and this was the first time
where I could fully spend my time with
No more lowering the volume to
answer angry phone calls from mom
or sending picture proof of what we
were doing. I think the two hour drive
in between Houma and Lafayette
was a large enough buffer to fix my
relationship with my parents. It forces
them to trust me for my word.
But living for myself in a different
city has definitely forced them to view
me as an adult. Because that is what I
am, a young adult. UL has also brought
many job opportunities and fun life
experiences that eases my parents minds
and shows them that I made the right
In my situation, leaving to go to a
university outside of my town was the
best decision ever. It was a necessary
step in becoming an adult; this was a
choice I made on my own.
Hearing stories from past friends who
stayed in our hometown only solidified
my decision to leave. Growing up means
flying out of the nest. You can always
fly back to the nest, but one day you
will have to make your own nest. So, be
selfish and make your own nest.

Marie Ducote

Allons Editor

I have spent my whole life in Lafayette,
Louisiana. I was born here, went to
elementary, middle and high school all
in the same city. I have lived in the same
house my entire 20 years of being alive.
It was always a given that I would end
up going to college in my hometown.
Many of my relatives also went to the
same college I now attend. When I was
little my mom would take me around
UL’s campus on the weekends and tell
me stories about her time in college.
My dad would take me to basketball
games at the Cajundome and football
games at Cajun Field. I even received my
high school diploma at the Cajundome
almost two years ago (hard to believe
I’ve been out of high school for that
Growing up, I fantasized about leaving
Lafayette after graduating high school
and going off on my own. But as I got
older and reality hit me in the face, I
gave up on my dream of moving away.
Fear and anxiety became the primary
motivator for staying in my hometown.
Do not get me wrong, I will always
love Lafyette, but I feel like I am missing
out on some big adventure because I
chose to stay here. And maybe some of
that is my fault – UL was the only college
I applied to.
I envy my classmates that were able
to move out on their own at 18 or 19
years old and be independent. And I
had my reasons for choosing to stay. For
me, it was cheaper just to stay home and
commute to class every day.
You start to see your hometown
differently once you mature. The places
you once frequented when you were
young just seem small and unimportant
I still have the same routine that I did
in high school. The only thing that has
changed is: I get to wear regular clothes,
not the blue polo shirt and khaki pants I
was required to wear every day as a child
and as a teenager.

My routine is as follows: my phone
goes off around 7:00 every morning.
I then slowly force myself to wake up.
Sometimes I eat breakfast, sometimes I
don’t. I get dressed for the day, pack my
bag and head off to class.
Then the cycle repeats the next day. In
all honesty, it can get dull after a while.
Walking around campus can be a
strange experience because I see people
I used to go to school with. I’ll be sitting
in class and all of a sudden a person I
haven’t thought about in years just shows
up at the door.

In my mind I still see them as 15-year-
olds, not 20-year-olds. At times it feels

like I am in elementary, middle and high
school all over again and nothing has
changed. Everyone is still a little bit the
The most humorous part of my day
is when I am in class, and I strike up
a conversation with a classmate I have
never met.
And through these conversations we
learn that we know the same people. It
confirms my theory that it is a very small
My adulthood started in college,not
when I turned 18. I got my first job
during my freshman year and I still have
that same job now. It has come with
responsibilities that I am still learning to
do. When my first paycheck got mailed
to me, it was an exciting day. I can
now buy the things I could not in high
But in other ways, I still don’t fully
feel like an adult. Driving is one of the
markers of independence and growing
up that I still have not learned how to do
it One of the goals I have for this year is
to learn how to drive (fingers crossed).
I just have to get over my fear of driving
to do it.
Lately, I have just felt stuck in life.
Everything seems to be moving slowly
and I don’t know what to do. I feel like I
have no direction in life and it’s hard to
describe in words what that actually feels
like. I think all I have to do is wait and
see what the future holds for me.