For some high school students, they don't have a clue what they want to do when they graduate, let alone where they want to go to college after they receive their diploma.

But for James Tyler Price, or Tyler as he likes to be called, he was almost certain he knew where he would end up.

When the lifelong Madison County resident was about to graduate from Madison Southern High School, he had only applied to three universities: University of Louisville, University of Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky University. Even though he had been accepted to all three, he knew in his heart where he would earn his college degree.

"I think I kind of had this thought in my mind that that's where I wanted to go growing up through school, but I never really questioned going to Eastern," Price said. "I think it was almost kind of a tradition, a heritage of the family to go."

Price comes from a family of eternal colonels -- both of his parents and sister attended EKU, where they obtained master's and bachelor's degrees, and his father is currently working on his doctorate's. His mother currently holds the title of associate vice president as well, having worked at Eastern for more than 20 years.

It was clear to Price that maroon flowed through his veins.

While Price decided to go to EKU, he opted to not live on campus -- a money-saving move for both himself and his parents -- but he didn't let being off campus get in the way of being active in his college career.

"Because I lived off campus, I wanted to push myself even more to be involved on campus, and I've got the rap sheet of stuff I've done," Price joked.

An active student in extracurriculars such as FBLA, student council and sports while in high school, Price wanted to carry over his experience into college. He became involved on the student activities council, was president of his fraternity that he also helped to start, student alumni association, on the leadership team with campus outreach and so much more.

One of the greatest things Price said he learned while at EKU was how to properly balance his classroom work with his outside life and even joked he would sometimes be more concerned with work his fraternity was doing instead of homework.

Another thing Price said he learned during his time at Eastern was how to appreciate life as it's presented in the here and now, because before you know it, the leaves are turning different colors and the season is about to change.

"Starting in high school, but especially college, time doesn't slow down just because it's an enjoyable season of life, and I think that's one thing you couldn't learn in a classroom that you learn by being on campus and being involved," Price said. "That's one thing moving forward in life, especially in the last month, that's hit me, is starting to really cherish and appreciate the daily things and the small things, because so many of those small things are about to change with my next season."

His next season takes him away from home in Richmond to Fort Wayne, Indiana, after he gets married in July to his fiance Sarah Kathleen Cook. Price hopes to take advantage of several opportunities that have already presented themselves with his bachelor's degree in health service administration while his future wife studies in the Huntington University Occupational Therapy Doctoral Program.

Reach Kaitlyn Brooks at 624-6608; follow her on Twitter @kaitlynsbrooks.

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