When I was preparing to go to college, my father was concerned about my heading off to UCLA. He wanted me in a smaller school, preferably Catholic. He knew I wouldn’t go for that, so he suggested I consider going to University of California in Berkeley (Cal) and live at home. The commute was easily done, I could drive from my house across the Bay Bridge or take BART (rapid Transit) to Berkeley in about 30 minutes, and I could live at home for nothing. It was a futile attempt and he knew it. That was not attractive to me. I was looking forward to being out on my own and I wanted to go away. My older three siblings had all gone away and now it was my turn. Of course, each of them had attended relatively small Catholic colleges and I was headed to a (gasp) public school with over 30,000 students. Cal was also a huge public school, but if I stayed at home, he could keep a closer eye on me. I knew that too and that was part of the reason I wanted to go away. : )
My aunt Mayrose faced a similar issue 40 years earlier. In the late 1930’s a college education was not accessible for many people, and for a WOMAN, even less so. However, my grandfather encouraged his kids to excel at everything they did. Mayrose was smart and she applied, was accepted and wanted to go to Cal. Various priests apparently spoke to my grandfather about how much more appropriate it would be for Mayrose to attend the local girls Catholic college, but that was not to be. She knew what she wanted and went after it. She went to Berkeley during the depression, and lived at home with her dad, five younger siblings and two aunts who moved in to help care for the family following her mother’s death a year or two earlier. That right there might be enough to make a young woman stray off course, but not Mayrose.
Could not have said it better myself. Women like her made it easier for women like me to follow our dreams 30 years later.