Now that the semester is wrapping up and many of my friends are getting ready to graduate, I have thought a lot about the advice I received when I first started looking at colleges. I have a pretty niche major so my options were relatively slim, with only one in state option, much to my parents’ dismay. I finally compiled a list of five schools to apply to. I was accepted into every one except for the in state option, sorry Dad. This left me with four awesome schools, all offering financial aid to cover some of the burden of being out of state. As soon as I was accepted, I knew that I wanted to go to George Washington University in Washington DC. It was a great school that was really well known for international relations, having so many opportunities to get involved politically. My mom made me wait until we toured it to officially commit and I am so glad she did.
I ended up touring IU the day before going to DC and the comparison between the schools was incredible. GW is a great school and has incredible programs, but IU made me feel so welcome with the excited atmosphere. Everyone in the program was so happy to be there and wanted to tell new students about their experiences. I was shocked at how much I loved IU and that started a war in my mind. GW has prestigious programs that could get me an internship on the Hill within a year while IU had smaller classes for my major and a faculty that was excited to teach and help me learn for learning’s sake.
I struggled for months between these two schools. Finally, someone told me that I was pushing myself into the workforce too quickly. For my career goal, I need to go to grad school regardless, so she told me to go to the school that I felt the most nurtured and supported. I had my whole life to compete and work, but undergrad is for learning and testing out my skills. The next day, I committed to IU. I still have another year at IU but there has not been a moment I regretted my decision to come here. I truly have felt nurtured and have learned so much more about myself and what I want to do with my life. I hope all the graduating seniors this year feel the same way, even in this crazy year, that IU has been a home they can come to and feel supported.