Monday, March 24, 2014

The College Decision

Anna Pleskunas – North Kingstown, RI

To all of the souls out there waiting for their acceptance letter from Pitzer, may this blog post offer some practical advice, as well as, personal insight that may ease some of your anxiety. First, take a deep breath; know that in the end, college is what you make of it. That is not to say that it doesn’t matter what college you go to, simply that it is most likely not the most important or most challenging decision you will ever have to make. You as an individual make your college experience; college does not make it for you. However, I think most high school students experience an enormous amount of pressure to find and go to their dream college. But, I ask this, how could you know what your dream college is if you’ve never been to college before?

So to answer this question I think it is important to reflect on what matters to you. I must admit when I was a senior making my decision, what I thought would matter most to me was not all that important in the end. I was so concerned with making sure I would have a positive social experience in college that I neglected to reflect on what I wanted academically.  In the end, as you may know from previous blog posts, I transferred to Pitzer as a junior. When I was going through the college search process for a second time, I still was having trouble making a clear list of what I wanted in a school. I didn’t really have a clear first choice school the second time around, I sort of thought that letting the cards fall where they may might give me some guidance.

I received my acceptance letter to Pitzer later then all of the other schools I had applied to. I was living in New York City at the time was distracted and not overly excited about going back to college in general. But, when my mother called me and told me that a large orange envelope with “congratulations” printed all over it had arrived, I was very excited. Choosing between Pitzer and a school in NYC was a challenging decision for me. I knew I wouldn’t be able to visit Pitzer before committing, it was on the other side of the country than home, and it was a big gamble. I chose Pitzer in the end because the core values, the Claremont Consortium design, and the engaged students at Pitzer really fit with who I am.  In the end Pitzer has been my dream college, and what I was searching for since I was 17. I have found a balance between my social life and academics, have become engaged in the arts and feel very at home here.

My biggest piece of advice to all of you trying to make this decision is to try and figure as clearly as possible what you really want now and what you will want when your 22. Pitzer is a place where you can grow as a person, become enlightened, and find a home. College is a wonderful and important time, but also try to keep the choice in perspective.

Good Luck!

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