Transferring to NC State

Cathy Sterling discusses transferring from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied music, to NC State.

Interview on 2010-10-21


00:00:00.000 As a high school student I had this fantastic music teacher, Mrs. Freeman,
00:00:06.041 but she had a small group called the--.
00:00:08.439 I can't remember the name of it but just a small group, maybe twenty singers maximum,
00:00:13.533 and I auditioned for that, got into that,
00:00:16.505 Tried out for a scholarship at UNC
00:00:19.859 and got accepted for a scholarship
00:00:22.844 and was among very few freshman women that were allowed at that time,
00:00:28.699 and in the South you were still a girl, you know.
00:00:31.531 And our curfew was 7:00. We had to be in the dorms, the doors were locked.
00:00:36.504 Not even holding hands on campus. I mean those--.
00:00:38.226 Like I said this was that transition. Within two years all these things--two or three years--these things were blown out of the water.
00:00:44.559 And I fought it. I mean I was a very independent spirit,
00:00:49.076 and I'm like, "But they--!" because the guys go by outside the windows going, "Nyah, nyah!"
00:00:55.239 And I'm like, but they get to! So, but I didn't know music theory,
00:01:00.505 and I look back and I think who in the world thought this was a good idea?
00:01:04.838 Some day I'll write it up because it was the classic freshman experience of everything going wrong.
00:01:12.605 So at some point I called my mom and I said, "I'm coming home," and she wisely got it.
00:01:22.420 She didn't question me or challenge me. She was like, okay, so my voice must have been really awful.
00:01:29.054 I came home, kind of recovered, and then came to State,
00:01:35.172 and my SAT scores were terrible but they wanted girls so badly because they just had started this liberal arts program,
00:01:44.788 and I can't remember the gentleman's name. He was there for many years in student financial aid.
00:01:51.514 He was a great guy.
00:01:54.878 He just really saw me through and the grants were generous back then, the scholarships and grants, what you got.
00:02:00.116 It was the defense--. Later the initials were kept the same but they were basically defense loans because we were--.
00:02:10.621 When Russia sent up the satellite suddenly it was about let's get people in colleges because we're just so far behind
00:02:18.721 so all of this money was made available. So as I look at my children and go,
00:02:23.840 it's not easy now, and they make this debt. I made virtually no debt out of college,
00:02:28.556 just virtually no debt, and it was because of that.
00:02:33.326 I got the grants and the loans and I was a female in the right place at the right time. [Laughs]
00:02:39.420 So when I came onto campus there were very few. It was not uncommon I was in classes where I was the only girl in the room surrounded by guys,
00:02:52.142 and it turned them to regular goofballs, I have to say.