A digital special section of | Subscribe

Lynn Barnett Morris

Lynn Barnett Morris

UI associate professor | Recreation, Sport and Tourism | Class of 1972

During move-in week ’19, we asked UI faculty members to tell us a story about their own experience of leaving home for the first time. Here’s Lynn Barnett Morris, who holds three degrees from the Urbana campus — a bachelor’s in psychology, a master’s in leisure studies and a Ph.D. in educational psychology.

“I grew up in the city of Chicago and since I graduated high school at the young age of 16 I went to UIC for my first year — lived at home and worked after school — a duplicate of my final year in high school.

“So I really think of starting college in my second year when I left home. That’s where my memories are.

“I went to school here and came down myself. I had answered an ad to live in an apartment with three other girls. In the first few days, I walked around campus and found myself at the south end, where the farms were. I was shocked beyond words.

“I called my mom crying, saying over and over ‘Where am I? There are live animals on this campus. I can’t stay here — it smells horrible.’

“Growing up, I naively thought the rest of the state was a suburb of Chicago and lived the same way. I had only ever seen animals in the zoo — talk about culture shock.

“It seemed to me to be a different world and not one I wanted to live in.”