Now that the May 1 deadline is approaching, the question of “Where will I go to college?” is more present than ever. If you’re like me, you still don’t know where you want to go to school.
I had my heart set on going to Fordham University in New York City for virtually all of my junior and senior year. When I got my acceptance in December, I expected it to feel like everything had come together. Instead, I felt very confused.
I applied to Penn State that September on a whim, and when I got my acceptance that November, I was much happier than I thought I would’ve been. Visiting the school in October went a lot better than I thought. I didn’t think I would want to go to such a big school, but that visit had opened my eyes to something I didn’t even know I wanted.
Penn State stuck in my head for the rest of senior year, even after I got into my then-dream- school. I couldn’t shake all that it had to offer. The football games at Beaver Stadium, the amount of concerts that were held there, and THON all seemed like amazing experiences that I didn’t want to pass up.
After a lot of thinking, I decided I was going to choose Fordham. All April, I would tell people that yes, I had decided and I would be going to Fordham that fall. On April 26, however, my parents sat me down for the final conversation and I couldn’t tell you what it was, but I started to panic and completely changed my mind. I told my parents that I wanted to go to Penn State.
They were shocked. They told me that I had to stick to that decision for one full day before I sent in my deposit. So, I let it sit with me that day. I started telling my friends and all of them were really excited for me. The Penn State name is always one to get excited about.
I think that at the end of the day, I chose Penn State for the size. I had been going back and forth for months about two schools with virtually nothing in common. One was a small private city school and the other was a large state school in the middle of Pennsylvania. I recognized my indecision though, and realized what I needed was options.
What if I chose a small school and felt trapped in a major or a club?
Penn State had so many choices and opportunities, and I knew that I would be safe somewhere that I would never feel stuck.
And I never looked back.
Over the years, I have sometimes felt like things were getting stale for me, but I found ways to change that. I got involved with theatre immediately, but when I needed a change, I joined a THON committee and made new friends there. I also joined new clubs and became an intern for Admissions.
There are always new things you can do here.
In hindsight, you can make any school that you choose work for you. If not, you can always transfer. However, if you’re feeling indecisive like I was, a larger school allows you to explore so many different experiences and opportunities. In fact, I discovered a new favorite place on campus just today! I wouldn’t trade that for anything.