As I’m about to enter my senior year of college (well I have about three months until it actually has to happen), for some reason I wonder if I chose the right college. I’m not sure if anyone else feels this way, so it makes me wonder why I’m questioning my choice.
The original plan for me when it came to college was that I was going to commute. At the time, I wasn’t quite ready to live on my own, but maybe I should have been thrown into the fire and found myself that way. I looked at five local schools (Western New England University, Springfield College, Westfield State, AIC, and University of Hartford), and I was accepted into each one. My dad and I toured each campus, but from the beginning I fell in love with Western New England.
It was my number one, and ironically, it was the last acceptance letter I received. I did, in fact, commute my freshman year, and as much as I hated it, maybe I did need it. It made me realize that I wanted to live on campus, and although my dad was on my side, it took a while to convince my mom. She eventually said yes, and I think being only 20 minutes away made her feel better about me being on my own.
I struggled my first semester on campus as a sophomore, and at one point was thinking about going back to commuting for the spring semester. Something in me knew I had to stay there, that something would finally work out for me. All it took was me stepping out of my comfort zone and joining clubs and organizations on campus to finally feel connected and apart of the small campus.
I know that I’ve grown since my freshman year, and I’ve found a much better group of friends since that time. I switched concentrations after my freshman year (from Journalism to Public Relations), but stayed within the Communication major. That may have hurt me because there are many more journalism classes than there are PR ones. However, I think gained the PR experience by being involved with Spring Event on campus, where I have been the publicity chair for the last two years. So although I may have not taken many PR-related classes, I am grateful for the experiences I have had and the connections I’ve made.
Western New England has become my home, but part of me wonders if I should have gone somewhere else. If I should have lived on campus at another school an hour away. Maybe staying close to home hurt me more than helped. I wish I could go to school in Boston; I mean, Springfield isn’t all that glamorous.
But Western New England was that small school I was looking for. I know people who go to UMass or UConn, and they have class sizes reaching 400 while the biggest class I ever had was Stats freshman year with 30 kids. I have been able to have great relationships with my professors and advisor, and I don’t think I would get that from a big school.
It also gave me opportunities to grow and achieve more than I ever thought I was capable of. I’m apart of three honor societies, manage two jobs on campus, and hold positions on two different E-Boards. I’ve pushed myself with academic work to do the best and succeed in upper level classes to maintain a great GPA. By surrounding myself with great friends and fantastic roommates this past year, I’ve gained more confidence and feel a lot better about myself.
If I went to another school, I wouldn’t have met all the people I have, been able to do what I’ve done, or be as happy as I am now. Western New England shaped me for the better, and I shouldn’t be doubting if I made the right choice.
Because I did.
I’ll always be a Golden Bear.