By Christi Mays
Junior clinical psychology major Rylee Wilson was dead set against going to UMHB. She didn’t want to be “that person” who followed in her parents’, Kyle ’99 and Mary Michele (Manley) Wilson ‘97, footsteps by going to the same college where they met and graduated.
Since her dad works as a youth pastor, Rylee grew up labeled a “pastor’s kid” and was commonly known as “Kyle’s daughter” her entire life.
“And not that there’s anything wrong with that; my dad is awesome, and I’m so glad to be my parents’ kid,” she said. “But I was pretty against going to UMHB because I knew that a lot of people at the school knew my parents. I wanted to be my own person, and I was really scared about just being ‘Kyle’s daughter’ again and having a stereotype put on me.”
The spunky redhead feared faculty, staff and alums would compare her to her parents—Mary Michele was known as a “clean-cut, rule-follower,” and Kyle was known as the “campus prankster.”
Instead, she planned to attend Baylor University, where she would simply be known as “Rylee Wilson.”
Something inside her, however, nudged her to have a backup plan in case her plans with Baylor fell through. Sitting down at her computer one afternoon, she decided to take a peek at the UMHB website.
“I ended up scouring the entire website. I mean, like from front to back. Everything.”
Her mind was made up.
“I just felt a peace that I’ve never felt in my life, and I would never consider myself a very peaceful person. I’m very anxious,” she admitted.
Rylee walked into her mother’s room and sat beside her on the bed.
“Mom, I really think I’m supposed to go to UMHB,” Rylee told her. “My mom was shocked because I had said so many times, ‘I’m not going to UMHB.’”
That same afternoon, Rylee withdrew her application from Baylor.
“I’m going to UMHB! That’s it. And it was the best decision I’ve ever made.”