YOUNG VOICES: Don't discount familiar when choosing a college

2013-12-30T00:00:00Z YOUNG VOICES: Don't discount familiar when choosing a collegeBy Lauren Coppinger nwitimes.com
December 30, 2013 12:00 am  • 

With college early decisions coming out soon, many high school students begin to make the greatest decision yet — which university to spend their next four years at.

With university advocates throwing out all sorts of information and parents no doubt pressuring for the decision to be made, this time is rapidly becoming very stressful for students. I know mine was.

I know that at this time, when looking at a college, everyone — parents and students included — want the decision to be the right one. The college has to be safe, welcoming, and a second home, in addition to everything each student would require academically.

Students who have had the same scenery for the entire lives will most likely want to go somewhere completely new and like nothing ever experienced before. I know I did.

Coming from a Catholic school background, I was I was ecstatic at the notion of walking the streets of Chicago as my campus when I received my acceptance letter into Columbia College Chicago. It was to be something big and new and exciting.

But that’s not what I ended up choosing, much to my mother’s relief. I chose what I knew to be familiar. I’m a student at a private, Catholic institution, something I've been lucky to say for the past 15 years of my education. And I am blissfully happy at my school. It’s become what every parent and student hopes for. It is my second home, and one I’m happy to go back to each year.

With that in mind, I ask high school seniors to not discount familiarity when choosing a college. It’s been one of the best decisions I've made thus far. Who knows where it will take you?

By going somewhere I knew the dynamics of, it has allowed me to branch out into Rome, a city I’ve fallen in love with since first stepping foot on Italian soil.

A beloved college has the power to make dreams come true. Sometimes, those dreams are ones you never knew you had.

Big things await you no matter where you chose to spend your next four years, and I hope it takes you by storm.

Lauren Coppinger, of Chesterton, is a junior at St. Mary's College in Notre Dame, Ind. The opinions are the writer's.

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