I am a brand name brat. I’ll admit it. When it came time to look for colleges junior year, I knew that I had exactly three criteria: small, private, in the northeast.
Not only did I think that these criteria would lead me to my dream education and job (let alone dream hubby), I thought that it was exactly what I wanted. I wanted a school that immediately got raised eyebrows and “wow she’s smart!” expressions when I said the name.
And on I went on my quest to get into my dream school. I wrote draft after draft of my entrance essays, perfected my SAT scores, secured the perfect recommendations, and continued all of my volunteer work throughout the whole process. I thought I had it down pat. I applied to 9 schools — 2 of which I was rejected from, 3 of which I was wait listed at, and 4 I just didn’t care about, even though I received acceptance letters to attend them. I had my heart set on attending one of my wait list schools. So I had alumni letters sent, calls made, and interviews set up. I didn’t know what to do. My boyfriend at the time had gotten in, and I knew his credentials only read “father is alumni who donates lots of money,” so I was a little more than bitter. That’s when I started to think that maybe it wasn’t the right place for me.
After lots of consideration and stress, I finally decided to attend the University of Delaware with a promise from my parents that I could transfer after the fall semester. Delaware was the epitome of everything I didn’t want: large, public and relatively near the Mason-Dixon line. I wasn’t thrilled to say the least, but off to Delaware I went…
All it took for me to change my mind about attending UD was my first floor meeting. I met the most interesting, coolest people I could’ve imagined meeting. I know it sounds cliche, but they quickly became my new family. We did everything together (which is now the way I spot freshmen on the street, I mean who goes to parties with 30 other people in tow?) I loved the people I met. After my first few weeks, I quickly realized that Delaware was exactly where I belonged. I loved the big school feel, where I could disappear for a whole day and not see anyone I knew. I loved the classes I took, despite them being ridiculously difficult. I loved the food in the dining hall. Just kidding…though the omelettes on Sundays were legendary. I truly loved everything about the school.
Looking back on it, I really didn’t know myself well enough at age 16 when I began the college search. I thought I knew what I wanted, but it wasn’t until I experienced something new that I realized I really had no idea what I was talking about. I took a chance (by force) and learned a lot. Now, you can’t get me to shut up about how much I love my school. I’m in the right place and I couldn’t be happier about attending my “safety” school.