Melanie Brender | Preview

Melanie Brender | Photo by Michael Scott
Melanie Brender | Photo by Michael Scott

Melanie Brender left Utica Stevenson High School, in 2010, with her heart set on going to the University Notre Dame.

“It was a conservative, exclusive, Catholic institution — all the things I thought I wanted. In my mind, I clawed my way to a respectable ACT score and valedictorian status for that prestigious college acceptance letter. I made three or four visits to Notre Dame in less than a year. I felt I belonged there.”

But, Notre Dame’s admissions department was like, actually you don’t, and rejected her. And, after a few more rejections letters, she found herself stuck with her safety school, Michigan State University, and she was not happy about it.

She joined MSU’s team late, causing her to miss an important freshmen bonding period with her classmates and left her feeling behind socially, in addition to already feeling behind athletically.

She felt mental and physical rifts from the beginning.

“One, I don’t want to be here. Two, I’m not good enough to be here. Three, the scholarship athletes are like beautiful and popular and accepted and included and running well, and so because I’m not a scholarship athlete, I can’t be any of those things.”

Full story coming next week.

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