The day it was announced that University of Maryland was joining the Big Ten was the day that four phases of my life began to come together.
First, I grew up in Maryland (where my father still lives) and attended many camps and events on campus while growing up. My childhood memories include many moments on the Maryland campus.
Second, I attended as an undergraduate. My five (yes, five) years there were truly transformative. I did everything I could to get the most from the experience: (1) research with a faculty member, (2) an honors thesis, (3) an internship, (4) study abroad, and (5) student organization leadership experiences. I love that institution for the opportunities it provided me. Part of me will always be a Terp.
Third, I met my wife there, and we were married in the Memorial Chapel on campus, a beautiful building overlooking the famous Fraternity Row.
But for the last 16 years, I’ve built a life here in Iowa City and come to love the University of Iowa. I have learned so much working here and made more lifelong friends than I ever thought possible. And now my kids are building childhood memories here on our beautiful campus. I am now a Hawkeye.
These four phases of my life — childhood, college, early adult, and now “mature-adult” life — all came crashing together this weekend. Iowa played Maryland for their homecoming game, and I flew in to visit family, friends, and past mentors at the University.
The most common question I heard all weekend was, “Who are you going to cheer for?” It’s a fair question. How should I reconcile different parts of my life? As you can tell from my short description of how I spent my time at Maryland, I don’t like to chose one thing over another. I like to do as much as I can.
So my solution was simple — I wore a Hawkeye jacket and a Maryland alumni shirt. I cheered for every good play, no matter whose it was. I was sad to see the Hawkeyes lose but happy to know that Maryland is not completely out of its league in the Big Ten. That is, of course, until February 6, when Iowa wrestles Maryland. Then the Terps will be out-classed, out-hustled, and demoralized.
In the meantime, I was happy to spend this weekend cheering on two great public universities and spending time with friends, old and new!