The night before National Decision Day, I cried thinking about my future and the college I would eventually end up at, realizing that that place would be West Virginia University.

Picture1Like most high school students, I began my college search during my junior year. I didn’t have much of an idea of what I wanted to do and it never helped that my twin sister knew exactly what she wanted to do. After sitting down one night for hours scouring various undergrad programs and a broad set of majors offered at almost all universities, I came to the conclusion I wanted to go into communications and journalism.

The summer before my senior year I began touring colleges and seriously thinking about where I would be finishing my education. I’m from Ohio and there is definitely no shortage of higher education institutions all across the state but the first schools I toured were in Chicago, IL.

My mother is an alumna of WVU—more specifically the Reed College of Media—herself so like anyone with any kind of pride in their alma mater, I had to look there too. Because my sister’s major is so specific and only offered at a few universities in the entire country, not including WVU, she escaped our mom’s persistent pressure to apply.

After all was said and done, I applied to five schools, two in-state and three out of state. I never really considered WVU as an option and only applied to appease my mom, making it last on my list.

Months went by and I found myself at the end of my senior year and high school career. I still hadn’t made an official decision of where I would be attending school in the fall but I had a general idea. I had been accepted to all my schools but it was fairly easy to rule out three of the five.

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My mom was always there in the background pushing for WVU. The more she did, the more opposed I grew.

I love my mom a lot and she’s one of my biggest role models, but with that said, we’re the exact same person and it gets to be too much sometimes. We have very similar personalities and despite having a twin, she is the most relatable person in my family. We either completely agree on something or fight adamantly over another thing because we’re so stubborn when it comes to our opinions. The thought of going to her school to pursue her major was overwhelming, especially after how my life had already seemed to emulate her young adult life.

Looking back now it seems ridiculous but we argued so much over how I felt that she was trying to relive her college experience through me.

It was nearing the deadline to accept a college offer and I was still so unsure of where I would be going. My top choice school was extremely expensive and despite all the scholarships I got, their program for what I wanted wasn’t worth what I would be paying off for the rest of my life. It was hard for me to accept that I wouldn’t be going to a school I had fallen in love with, but now I see that I ended up exactly where I’m supposed to be.

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One of the deciding factors that made me choose WVU was the media college’s Scholars Program. Because of this program I have met so many amazing other students who share a love for media like I do and strive to be the best in our field.

I might not have originally wanted to go to WVU, and I wasn’t even happy about it for a while but the summer before college I grew to be more and more excited about the prospect of it all.

Once I got here and started classes, I quickly realized that WVU was the perfect school for me and I found my home in the Reed College of Media. I joined Martin Hall Agency and learned a lot about my major and future career path in such a unique setting.

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Being a dramatic high schooler was all a part of my process of getting to WVU and I’m thankful my mom kept pushing me to step outside of my comfort zone, even when I pushed back hard. I can happily say that I walk the campus and attend classes in the same lecture halls of Martin that she did thirty years ago, all while wearing her sweatshirt from when she was a student.

I didn’t want to go to WVU and now I can’t imagine my life. This school has brought so many good things into my life that I can honestly say I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it.