Today while on a walk with a girlfriend, the subject of choosing colleges came up in the conversation. And it was decided between the two of us that wow, that’s a big life decision you’re making at the age of seventeen or so.
I decided early on in the college searching process that I wanted to go to a small college. The idea that Indiana University had the same number of students as the entire population of my hometown was overwhelming to me. I’m sure my parents had a bit of a heart attack as brochures came in for schools that were twice the amount of in-state tuition, but for the most part, they held their tongue.
They drove me all over the midwest — to Beloit College in Wisconsin, to Kalamazoo College in Michigan, to St. Mary-of-the-Woods near Terre Haute. I’m wondering if senior vists are cut down today by the advent of the Internet. Had my mom seen the condition of St. Joseph’s College in Renselessar on the internet, she would have saved the gas money.
My girlfriend laughed when I told her how I chose Marian — I had a stack of applications and I completed Marian’s application first because it didn’t require an essay. I mailed it in first, and had every intention of getting started the essays required for all of the other schools. Then I got busy being yearbook editor and stage manager and you know, being a senior in high school.
And I got accepted into Marian with a great financial aid package before I ever even started writing a rough draft of an essay for any of those other schools.I visited one more time, thought it was good and made the decision to attend. I then got back to being a senior in high school.
As it turned out, I made life long friends, got a solid education, and developed a fondness for the city my family now calls home……..but conversations like today sometimes make me wonder what would have happened if I had even just applied to one more school.
And I wonder if I will be able to give MaM and Junior the wide berth my parents’ did when it came to choosing a school. I mean sure, it was my education, but it was their tuition money. Years later my mom told me she was incredibly relieved that I chose Marian over all the other schools we’d visited — it was Catholic, it was small, it was affordable w/ financial aid, and it was a drivable distance from home. As I type this, I realize maybe once they figured out that I was happy with Marian, they’d just keep their mouths shut and thank their lucky stars.
How did you choose your school? Was it a process? Were your parents very involved? Was the internet involved in your college search at all (it wasn’t in mine)?