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Why I Love DePaul

It’s pretty clear that I love DePaul. If I didn’t, I probably wouldn’t have stayed at DePaul to get my master’s. I could have bounced right after the first four years and never looked back. Why didn’t I? Because DePaul has become a second home to me.

To be honest, the major reason I chose DePaul is because I wanted to be in Chicago. First and foremost, despite growing up in a town of less than 10,000, I always knew that I wanted to go to school in a big city. Plus, like I wrote about a few months ago, most of my extended family lives in the suburbs, so I was never completely on my own. And because it’s Chicago, there are always so many ways for me to get home to Wisconsin whenever I want. Most significantly, I had the best memories of taking trips to Chicago to see musicals with my dad, so being in the city had a lot of nostalgia for me.

Willy
Look at all the school spirit I had at my high school graduation party way back in the day.
Being in Chicago brings with it a lot of opportunities and possibilities. Because I chose to do the Discover Chicago program, I spent my first week at DePaul running around Chicago, examining issues of criminal justice. We sent books to women in prison, met with prison reform advocates, and toured the Chicago History Museum. And that kind of unique hands-on interaction really made a lasting impression on me. Professors construct assignments based on the opportunities here in Chicago; I’ve had to go to Spanish cultural activities, observe labor demonstrations, visit memorials, and go to film festivals for various classes. It’s a deeper way of learning that I really appreciate.

And most importantly, I’ve just had really good experiences with professors at DePaul. Just a few days ago, I was talking to one of my past professors (who is also one of the members of my thesis committee), and we were laughing about how I feel the need to list all of the ways that she’s changed my life every time I write her an email. But it’s totally true. My professors have pushed me to expect so much more from myself and for myself. When I first came to DePaul, my only goal was to graduate within four years. That was it. But my professors made me realize I had the potential to do so much more. Four and a half years after starting at DePaul, I just returned from a DePaul-funded research trip to Madrid and I’m finishing up my master’s in International Studies. It’s a no-brainer for me to say that I chose the right university.
 
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