Monday, June 6, 2011

My College Process

Going into this season and school year I did everything I could to avoid thinking about college. All summer long my mom bugged me about starting essays and applications, but I kept rolling my eyes and ignoring her. I did not feel ready to leave high school, and possibly the Skyliners behind, so I avoided the college process at all costs.

In the fall I began to crack down and really tried to figure out where I wanted to go to school. There was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to skate. My guidance counselor printed out a list of every school in the country that had a Synchro team. Then, my mom and I added schools to that list that had teams in areas surrounding them. As application deadlines approached, I was very stressed out and upset. In hindsight, I should have listened to my mom and gotten all my essays done over the summer. The whole process would have been a lot less stressful. I ended up applying to six schools; Loyola University in Chicago, Dartmouth College, Miami University of Ohio, the University of Michigan, Fordham University, and Northeastern University.

I applied to Loyola in Chicago because when I went and visited the school, I loved it. Chicago is an amazing city, similar to New York, and I felt that I would enjoy spending four years there. Also, going there would have given me the opportunity to skate for Heather Paige and the Starlights who are just outside of Chicago. I have worked with Heather for many summers at various skating camps and I knew I would love skating on her team. She is an amazing coach and person and I really loved Chicago, so I was very pleased when my acceptance letter arrived from Loyola. It was my first acceptance and I was so excited!

I applied to Dartmouth because my cousin is a student there. Hanover is a beautiful rural town in New Hampshire and Dartmouth is an awesome school. There is no synchro team there, but there is an intercollegiate freestyle team, and a nice rink. Hopefully my fellow Dreammate Bianca Jackson will be able to start some sort of synchro Program there as she will be attending in the fall! Sadly, I was denied admission.

I applied and was accepted to the Honors College at Miami University. Growing up I went to Miami every summer for camp and I always had an amazing time. When I was younger I looked up to the Miami skaters that were my counselors. I considered them skating gods. I felt so blessed to be accepted to the Honors Program at such a beautiful school that also offered an amazing synchro program with coaches I had grown to love while spending my summers there.

I applied to Michigan because two ex-Skyliners and great friends of mine are current students there. Hearing them talk about their experiences socially, in classes, and with the skating team, I felt I had to apply. Upon acceptance, I decided to go to the skating team’s “Wolverine Weekend.” I stayed in the dorm with one of my friends and attended admission events and a clinic with the team and their coach Erin Donovon. It was so much fun and added to the stress I was feeling about having to make the decision about where to go.

When Skyilners announced it was having a Senior team, I hastily applied to Fordham University in the Bronx. My mom had gone there, and its vicinity to Manhattan and the locations where Skyliners practice was perfect. Also, it is only twenty minutes from my house so I could go home to visit my sisters whenever I felt like it.

Last, but certainly not least, I applied to Northeastern University because I wanted to apply to at least one school in Boston. I chose Northeastern because I liked how it is right in Boston but has a defined campus. Also, it has a great Criminal Justice program that appealed to me and I could potentially skate for the Haydenettes.

After the Junior World Challenge Cup, I knew it was time to make a decision. I was torn into fifths. I could picture myself at every school. Academically, they all had things I liked, and each school came with an amazing skating option. At the Skyliners year end party I ended up in tears because I was so emotional and stressed over making a decision. The next day I drove to Lexington with my dad and tried out for Haydenettes. Soon after, I found out I had made the team. I was ecstatic. Making the team was a huge honor and I was very proud.

Finally, after weeks of stress and deliberation with my parents, I decided to go to Northeastern and skate Haydenettes. I eliminated other schools by examining myself. I am a true city person so Oxford, OH was not my ideal setting. Also, I come from a very small high school community, and Michigan seemed a little too big for me. Fordham just is too close to home, while Loyola is just a little too far. Northeastern is a perfect location, and financially works very well for my family. I feel like the world has been lifted off my shoulders since I made the decision. I am sad to be leaving Skyliners. It has become my family over the past eight years and I love my teammates and coaches more than anything. Everyone has been so supportive of my decision, and for that I will be eternally grateful. I am so relieved to be done with the college process and excited for my future as a Husky and a Haydenette!