Choosing a college is arguably the hardest decision a young person ever has to make. How can you choose a home based on an hour visit, a subpar student tour guide, and thousands of brochures screaming at you that [insert college here] could be your new home?
It’s definitely quite close to impossible.
I decided I wanted to go to DePaul a few days before the decision date, so I’m no stranger to the big decision.
Luckily for me, DePaul was the perfect fit. I love city life and couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else. I’m close to home, but at the same time, far enough away to establish a name for myself from the ground up. This is exactly what I wanted.
Last weekend I spoke as a panelist at DePaul’s Honors Reception, an event for admitted Honors students, and I was reminded why I chose DePaul in the first place.
I chose DePaul because I wanted an adventure. The sprawling cornfields of the Midwest and the sweltering heat of the south didn’t do the trick for me. I felt stagnant — I couldn’t see myself exploring the location and in the process, finding myself. College is a time to grow, and while academics are important, environment is equally so.
The deciding factor came down to a scheduled visit with a potential advisor. Being able to ask questions about DePaul and student life in a personal, one-on-one setting helped me feel that faculty was approachable. And the truth is at DePaul they are more than approachable. I consider some of my advisors and professors my friends.
Last week I found myself sitting next to my political science professor at a Mexican restaurant eating chips and salsa and chatting about bubble baths— if that’s not friendship, I don’t know what is.
I encourage you to contact a DePaul student or advisor if you are curious as to what student life and academics look like beyond a brief tour. This helped me choose the right college, and I can say that the advisor I initially met during one of my visits to DePaul is someone that I am very close with now.
I always thought DePaul’s phrase, “The city is your campus,” was cheesy and simply a public relations ploy, but being a second-year student at DePaul, I can say that I live by that mantra. The city truly is my campus. I learn something every day from walking the streets of Chicago, and exploring the different neighborhoods and cultural environments.
Additionally, the opportunities this city has are endless – I’ve seen Broadway shows, went to some really intimate concert venues, had access to the mayoral candidates election parties, seen drag shows, been to famous restaurants, walk Michigan Avenue and State Street on a daily basis, been to Chicago sports games, and I currently live right next to Wrigley Field.
Beyond that, I’ve had the opportunity to become an editor at
our student newspaper, write this blog, nailed some pretty sweet internships,
started a blog, volunteered with CPS students, helped start a Super PAC, became
a research assistant, and so much more.
I think it’s safe to say that not everyone has been as
privileged as I have in their college experiences.
Wherever you’re at in the decision making process, I wish
you the best of luck and know that at the end of the day college isn’t always
about where you go, but about what you do once you’re there.