So It's Not My Dream College

23 June 2016

There are many interesting changes that happen during the transitions of being a senior in high school to freshman status in a college. By the end of the school year, everyone starts to get a little irritated and antsy to move onto life's next adventures. Students looking towards the college route mostly had their dream university picked out, based on their preferences in college style: big vs. small student body population, commutable distance, as far away from home as possible, and others. With so many possibilities, a near graduated high schooler needs to make a choice on which university they feel will be the best or perfect fit.

I applied and was accepted to five very different universities. Four were in-state, although two of the four were further away by a few hours. Just as many other students, my parents personally wanted me to go to a local college, since they were familiar with their programs and I would be able to save money by commuting to school everyday. But, I didn't want to stay at home––I wanted to be like my peers whose parents had no problem with allowing them to go out-of-state. I wanted to get the full-college experience with no strings attached and feel like an individual. I fell in love with the school I picked out in Indiana, and I mean IN LOVE. I always got super excited when I received one of their campus magazine editions. It had everything I hoped for in a college, it was small (easier to know almost everyone), in more of a rural area (avoiding the city atmosphere), and it was a Christian university, so how could this possibly go wrong, right? I even spent an overnighter in one of the girls dorms; everyone on campus were so friendly and open, my admissions counselor had the coolest socks ever, and the campus food was great! It was my dream school.

However, I was basing my hopes in going to this school not only with the thought of what is "good for me", but also fearing if I went to a secular school, any growth in my faith would be wrecked because of the influences around me (which I now know is not true). Unfortunately and fortunately, my dream didn't work out in my favor due to financial aid scholarships versus the total costs of tuition and other amenities, especially with a lot of sudden changes that were happening that same year. It was crushing after raising my own hopes and putting a false promise that everything would be perfect and I will be fixed if things go my way––in order to be an individual I needed to grow in the spot I think is best, not God's best for me, which should be the other way around.

To draw the story to close, here's the main message I want anyone who is joining a university they are not too excited about or feeling crushed everything didn't align the way you wanted: You might have many options laid out before you that all seem good or maybe only one option, either way just because they seem good in your eyes doesn't make it the best option God has for you. I've learned this over this past year, although I was frustrated at first, I grew to understand why He called me to the school my parents wanted to enroll. Somehow, which to this day blows my mind–def shows as testament to God's work in the details, I received a scholarship that required me to live on campus the first year opening doors to other scholarships that basically paid for my full first year. If I chose to go my planning and timing, that would have been a blessing I would have missed out on, for which I am incredibly grateful. I would have never expected to be pulled towards an entirely opposite direction of a large school in the city and seeing things work in greater ways I couldn't imagine possible, and that's not by chance! Plus it's not everyday you meet and make the most wonderful friends in an on-campus organization like Cru!

–– Jem

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