Courtesy of Contino Family

Parent column: Having generations of Gamecocks a rewarding experience

I grew up a Gamecock fan, attended the University of South Carolina, am a Gamecock and, now, the proud parent of a Gamecock. That’s me.

Considering my background and that of my husband, it might not have come to be. Both sides of my family are from South Carolina and I grew up in Florence, about an hour or so from Columbia. My parents come from humble beginnings and neither went to college. I struggled to attend and pay for college myself and, afterward, went on to work in Columbia in human resources. 

My husband was born in the Bronx, New York, to the children of Italian immigrants. He was the first in his family to earn a degree. Starting as a staff accountant, his path eventually led him to Wall Street. The lure of our beaches and golf courses brought him to our lovely state for a vacation and, unknowingly, to meet his future wife. 

It wasn’t long before I found myself moving up north and finding a job in Manhattan so we could begin our life together. He worked downtown. I worked in Midtown, landing a great job at a big advertising agency. We were on exciting career trajectories, making plans and working crazy hours. In an effort to own a home, we found ourselves with very long commutes. The more we thought about a family, the more we realized we needed to be in a different place, one where we could spend less time on trains and in offices and more time at home together with children.

We made our way back down south and, not long after, were blessed with our only child. She’s grown up to be kind, generous, smart and (bonus) a person we really love spending time with. 

After years of ballet, she changed course and found herself drawn to writing and journalism in high school. When she began her college search, due diligence led to applications being submitted to six colleges — three in New York and three in South Carolina.

Guess which one won out! 

Southern roots are strong. I joke that the second I brought my husband down here, I hooked him up to an IV of sweet tea and started a diet of barbecue. We feel she made the right choice, without a doubt. The more we learn about the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, the more we are convinced she is in the right place and we are so excited to see where this journey will take her.

Go Cocks! Spurs up!

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