Minute in My Shoes: A student keeping K-State in the family to follow her dreams

Lauren Cooper, senior in apparel and textiles, shows off her kicks for the camera. (Gabrielle Albertson | Collegian Media Group)

Growing up in Kansas her whole life with purple-clad parents, Lauren Cooper, senior in apparel and textiles, said she knew she was going to be a Kansas State Wildcat someday.

From the beginning, Cooper said attending K-State was a family tradition.

“Both my parents and my brother went here, and I grew up coming to games here,” Cooper said. “I was already comfortable in the environment, and I didn’t really apply to go anywhere else. This is the only place that I wanted to go to.”

In fact, K-State is where Cooper’s parents first met through a mutual friend, she said. Before they knew it, Cooper’s dad was getting down on one knee and proposing. They’ve been together ever since, raising three children.

“He proposed to her at one of the hills by Tuttle Creek overlooking the water,” Cooper said.

From a young age, Cooper said she has always been fond of fashion, but she didn’t know she could major in it until she came across it at K-State.

I chose my major because I always really liked clothing,” Cooper said. “Ever since I was little, I always was interested in what was coming out next and dressing a little bit more mature than some of my other friends when I was really young.”

As a little girl, Cooper would play dress up in her mom’s clothing and put on her high heels. Not only did she like the fashion, but she said she aspires to be like her mom.

“My mom has never pressured me to do anything that I don’t want to,” Cooper said. “But there are standards. … You kind of need a college degree just because, when you have one, it’s kind of easier to get jobs no matter what you studied.”

Cooper said her mom has always told her she has to be responsible and committed in her life, but being happy is also important.

“You have to be willing to do something with your life, but she never made it [out] like you have to have this job and you have to make this much money,” Cooper said. “If you’re happy and you can make a living, whether it’s a lot or a little, then we’re a success in her eyes. So, I just think that’s something that kind of takes the stress off of life.”

Cooper said she hopes to work one day in the corporate side of a business, ideally for a retailer working on their branding.

“There’s a lot of PR that goes into it and reaching out to other companies to see if they’ll advertise for you,” Cooper said. “Also, social media is a really big part of that because everybody is on it, so if you’re not on Instagram or Twitter, then you’re behind the curve.

With a family like Cooper’s, she said nothing is going to stop her. She has purple running through her veins between her parents meeting here and her older brother attending K-State, so it’s a university that feels like home.