Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Choosing a School- My Journey

The college selection process is an intimidating step in the lives of children and parents. Most people choose a school based on the academics and where they fit in best. I came into the process struggling with many questions, but most importantly, where could I go that fits me academically and will allow me to skate?

(photo: Boston College ice rink - Silvio O Conte Forum)

I started the process last summer via a long east coast tour with my parents. I visited Boston College, Boston University, Yale, Harvard, and Princeton. I came out of this trip slightly more stressed because I could see myself at many of the schools I visited. These tours shed light on which parts to highlight on your application, and on how to go about completing it. Later on, I visited Northwestern University and Miami University, and of course ended up loving both as well.

I began the Common Application in August, which was a smart decision because if you wait until school begins, homework begins to take over your time. I wrote many essays (mostly about skating experiences- which make great topics) and was done by December. After I sent in my last application, I had to endure the wait until March.

I did apply to schools at which I could not integrate skating. Even though I knew in my heart that I could not leave the sport at this time, my head told me that I should begin to concentrate solely on academics. It was after the U.S. Synchro Championships and the Dearborn ice show that I knew I wasn’t done skating. It had been a part of me for too long.

(photo: some Crystallettes at the Dearborn Figure Skating Club ice show)

I was granted acceptance to University of Michigan, Boston College, and Miami University. Each university would allow me to skate, but all were very different. After a long period of contemplating and pro-con lists, I finally realized that what was important was that I was comfortable and happy. I ended up choosing Boston College because it was undoubtedly my favorite campus and location. It meant leaving a lot of my friends and memories behind, but if my years of skating had taught me anything, it would be to take risks and chase after your dreams. I am forever thankful for the ongoing support from my parents and my teammates over the years.

Next fall I will be skating for the Haydenettes and attending Boston College as a biochemistry major. I could not be more excited about my choice, but I know that I would have been happy with whichever college I chose.

(photo: My mom and I at a Detroit Tigers vs. Red Sox game-- not to worry Tigers fans, my loyalty will always be in Detroit ;))
My best advice for rising seniors (or anyone anticipating the college selection process) is to breathe and remember that what’s supposed to happen, will happen. It is ok to take skating into consideration when you are choosing a school, as you have to take many different factors into account when deciding what school will make you happiest. Balancing college classes and an intense skating schedule requires extreme time management skills, another skill this sport instills in its participants.

Skating is extremely close to my heart. I am very fortunate to be able to continue my love for the sport and integrate it into my college experience.

I hope I shed some light on the process! Have a great summer, and I will update shortly with summertime activities with the Haydenettes and the DREAM program.


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