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How I ended up at KU

Updated: Aug 21, 2018

And how I just missed out on being best friends with Donald Glover.


I went to a pretty amazing high school that had a video production class. I signed up for it as soon as I could and I instantly loved filming. I spent a lot of my junior and senior year working on projects for that class and when it came time to decide what I was going to study in college it seemed obvious that I should study film so that I could continue my passion.

I had my sights set high and applied to both NYU and USC. In the fall of my senior year NYU offered me an interview on their campus and my mother and I flew up there over my homecoming weekend.


I was already homesick by the time the plane landed thinking of all of my friends back home at the dance and, I’m not going to lie, Manhattan quickly overwhelmed me. I had only been to downtown Kansas City maybe 5 times in my life at that time. The thought of living in one of the busiest cities in the world gave me anxiety like I had never felt before. My mom seemed to understand right away and we didn’t even bother going to my interview. Later on I felt pretty guilty about the no-show, and I actually enjoyed the rest of my time in the city once I wasn’t panicking about potentially living there.


Since I wasn't going to New York, when I got home I decided it would be USC. I had never visited LA and I got into the University (although maybe not the film school, I don’t remember?) without having to go out there. I guess I couldn't be overwhelmed this time because I was never even going to visit first. I was late on my application though so I wouldn’t get any scholarships the first year at least.


When the tuition bill showed up, my dad convinced me it was too expensive. I had a bit of a college fund from my grandparents, but that would be gone before the end of the first year at USC. At a local school like KU though, I could live the good (college) life for a full four years without worrying about running out of money. Plus the KU scholarship deadline was later and I got their top one.


So the plan changed. I’d go to KU for my first year or two to get my pre-rec’s out of the way. Then I’d transfer to NYU or USC to finish up and graduate. That obviously never happened. I met my wife (link) about 6 months later and started down the path that I’m on now.

I couldn’t be happier about where I am in life, or my family or career, but I do always wonder what would have happened if I went to NYU. Donald Glover graduated the year after I would have, and I’m quite sure if I were there we would have been the best of friends. Maybe if I become president I’ll finally get to meet him.

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