Right around the turn of the 19th Century, my grandfather, Simon Wohl, and his family immigrated to the United States from Poland. The Wohls decided to settle down in a town in central Illinois called Peoria. Although my grandfather came to this country with practically nothing, he continued to have a positive outlook and kept his eye on the prize: a new start, and that is surely what he did.
Although my grandfather, along with the rest of his siblings, was never able to attend college, he always supported a little university located back in his hometown: Bradley University (BU).
Since birth, my mother, Debbie Babich, has always brought her words to life when telling stories about her college days. She and her three sisters attended BU, where my soon-to-be uncles attended as well.
I grew up with the dream of someday becoming a Bradley Brave. I could never imagine myself not walking through the thick green grass in the quad, setting up my freshman dorm room in University Hall (U-Hall) and most importantly, graduating and preparing myself for my future and the following years to come.
My mother grew up living minutes from campus and she has told me stories about our visits to BU from long ago.
I was only four the first time I walked onto BU’s campus and some of my earliest memories began there. I remember strolling past U-Hall, the dorm my mother lived in while attending BU.
I will be following her footsteps as I move into U-Hall in late August.
The generation continuum doesn’t end here. My older sister Staci is currently a sophomore at BU. From the beginning, she fell in love with BU and its campus.
The funny thing is that my sister and I have always been told how different we were from each other—whether that was in our looks, hobbies or even sports we were playing. Despite how different we are, something so significant about Bradley stood out to both of us. Here we are today, going there together.
Although my parents encouraged me to go to any school of my choice, I think we all knew where I would end up going.
So as the time came around to decide which college was best for me, I could never imagine myself attending school anywhere else. However, this time I will be the one getting to do the storytelling.
Now, as my high school journey comes to an end, I await my arrival at BU and wherever life may take me after that. As you can clearly see by my devotion and history, that dream I’ve always had of becoming a Brave will finally be fulfilled.