“When you come to a fork in the road, take it!” --Yogi Berra
As an indecisive person who has trouble simply getting dressed in the morning and choosing between waffles and cereal for breakfast, picking a college was the ultimate stressor. With thousands of choices in thousands of places, it’s insane that high school students are expected to choose their home and possible career path for the next four(ish) years of their lives.
Choosing DePaul for me has been one of the best life decisions I’ve made thus far, but I didn’t fall for DePaul during my first visit. Taking your typical college road trip, my family and I packed up our lives during Spring Break of my junior year and rode on down to the good ol’ South.
Yes, the South. Visiting North Carolina State, University of South Carolina, Clemson, and University of Georgia, I thought that destiny was calling my name where the weather was warm and I could always get a tan.
But I was so wrong.
I spent the summer researching schools and applying to colleges. If you’re at this point of life, best of luck to you. The process is more than daunting. With personal essays and ACT or SAT scores, the second-guessing can be overwhelming.
As the summer sun turned to shorter fall days, the admissions process progressed and I started to hear back from schools. I flipped coins and begged my advisors and teachers to tell me what school I should go to, keeping DePaul in the back of my mind and the Southern schools in the forefront.
I let my senior year progress without thinking about college until about April when the deadline to commit was fast approaching. At this point in my decision-making process, it came down to DePaul and University of South Carolina.
South Carolina was a beautiful campus. The tour I had went on a year ago was still very memorable, the traditions and school spirit at the college were very apparent, and the scholarships I had received topped DePaul by a significant amount.
DePaul was beautiful, but in a different way. The city landscape was unique to every other college I had seen and the lack of football team gave the campus an independent vibe. I liked how close to home I would be in Chicago and how accessible the city was.
I decided to give DePaul one last visit before I made up my mind. I met with one of the Honors Program Directors who gave me a personal, inside perspective on the university. She taught me about DePaul’s offerings, culture, and community, and suddenly, I was sold.
I knew in that instant DePaul was where I was meant to be.
The city will always be my home and I can’t imagine being on any other type of campus. I like the independence and the anonymity that Chicago provides.
If you’re stuck choosing a college, I encourage you to get in contact with a staff member at your prospective university. This eye opening experience allows you to ask questions to an expert in a private environment, rather than asking questions awkwardly to a student tour guide in front of other prospective students.
With student visit day coming up, maybe you’ll FALL for DePaul?