Wednesday, March 23, 2016

How I Changed My Choice Of College In T Minus Two Weeks and Why I Decided To Go Through With It In The End

It was love at first sight. Or so I thought. 

Bradley was just too good to be true. The closeness to home, the size, the atmosphere, the tightly-knit relationship between professors and students –it seemed like a second ICC, only bigger and better. But then reality hit, the moment between past and future we like to call life. One phone call after another, I started to see that Bradley wasn't all I thought it was. I realize it could've just been a series of unfortunate events, but I was treated rudley by the people who presented themselves as the most helpful, and it left a bad taste in my mouth.

There were other things too. 

After some time I'd come to realize that my best friend wouldn't be coming with me. Torn thoughts bombarded my helpless mind, and although I knew I shouldn't make life's decisions based on what other people did, I realized that's exactly how I came to choose Bradley in the first place.

So there you have it. The very foundation of the idea was in shambles from the beginning.

I was stuck in the middle with no where to go and no one to run to. A hero came like they always do though –bright and shining. Only this time such a luster didn't come from a white horse, but from the gleam in my professor's eye as he pulled me aside:
"Representatives from Greenville College are coming tomorrow. I'd like you to meet with them if you can." 
"Um, don't you mean to be telling this to Kristyn?" I asked, recalling a previous conversation he'd had with my seatmate. 
"No, I'd like you to check it out too. It's really been on my heart to tell you about the College lately. I know you haven't quite decided on a school yet, and I want you to know that there's more out there than just Bradley and ISU. Have you considered a Christian College?"
"Not really," I replied more begrudgingly than anything else. The last thing I needed was to throw another college in the mix, and a Christian college at that! God needs me to be a light in a secular school, I thought. 
"Well, I think you should check Greenville out. It's small and it's gonna open up a whole new world of opportunities that you haven't even considered, so I think it would be a really good fit."
Somehow, miraculously, I found myself at the meeting with the representatives the next day.

I showed up thirty minutes late (okay, it's not as dramatic as it sounds, I didn't know lunch would be included), but I was blown out of the water from the moment I first arrived. Did I mention lunch was included?

I started off mostly just listening in to the already on-going conversation. It seemed as if my professor and the representatives were trying to make the transfer process as smooth-sailing as possible.

Okay, that was nice.

After that, they asked if I had any questions, told me there'd be no portfolio review, explained the student-teacher bond at Greenville, and gave me an idea of what the courses I'd be taking were like.

Okay, that was really nice.

Before I left, the representatives took down my contact information, and by five PM they had already called me. The lady I spoke with urged me that if Greenville was even slightly on my radar, I should file my FASFA by midnight that night, as it was the final deadline for doing so. Honestly, I was touched by such a kind reminder in comparison to my previous experiences with colleges on phones.

The FASFA deadline gives you a little insight on the pressure I had to make up my mind, but to fully understand the scope of the situation, you should probably know that things like college applications and transcripts are usually due by November or December of the previous year. Thankfully, I wasn't too late for Greenville. I went ahead and got that information in and scheduled a college visit while I was at it.

My dad drove me down to Greenville exactly one week after, and to say the least, I loved it! Greenville is a beautiful campus, no larger than a block (if that!), and I can tell that the people who work there really love what they do and the students who come there. I even got to sit in on a digital media class, if you can believe it!

On the way home, I reiterated my new-found thoughts about Christian Colleges to my dad and mulled over all the positives the school had to offer. It was small, that's for sure, but I'm an introvert and flourish in that kind of environment. One of the first things my dad said to me when I got down there was that he could totally picture me on that campus more than any other, and I whole-heartedly agreed.

Then of course there were the classes. When I get to Greenville, I'd be done with most of my design classes. However, I'd get the opportunity to take more of things that would benefit me and future employers in the workforce –things like web design and audio production. Marketing classes are also part of the curriculum, something I deem very important to a design career and is often an encouraged but separate field in most schools. Similarly, the journalism department at Greenville works very closely with the design department. This is something I was very pleased to find, as I am interested in pursuing both writing and publication design as a future career. Oh, and don't even get me started on their mission trips, chapel, and biblical courses!

Which brings me to my final, and most important point. Greenville is a place where I will find people who are like-minded in a spiritual sense. Since I've discovered this, I have realized I was so wrong in thinking that God needs me in a secular school. If you get one thing out of this terribly lengthy post, get this: God doesn't need anyone to do anything for Him. He is wholly and completely capable of resorting to His own devices to carry things out. And if I had that twisted around, maybe I needed to be at a Christian College after all.

It took some thought, but I realized there was really no particular pull (other than my own will) to stay in a secular school. And so I have decided it's time to return to my roots; I am ready for seeds to be cultivated and for this withered flower that I am to grow closer to the One and Only Son. This, I hope to do at Greenville College, and I hope you'll join me for the adventure that is sure to come!