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Going to college was never a question in my mind. I knew I was going to go to college from the womb and so did everyone else in my life. I’ve always been someone who loves school and who loves learning. I was that kid in class who would get excited about writing a hard paper because it meant I would be able to show off my knowledge. Getting good grades gives me such a major adrenaline rush that it’s become addictive.

For these reasons and so many more, I always wanted to be an Ivy-leaguer. I dreamed of walking through the halls of Yale, exploring the art districts around Brown and pretending to live right out of an episode of Gossip Girl at Columbia. However, many years later, I can proudly say that I’m a Quinnipiac Bobcat and I’ve never been happier.

When I started making my “college list,” so to speak, I had very, very specific criteria. First, it had to be a small school. I was never a fan of big city based schools, with tens of thousands of students swarming all over the place. I did, however, always love the idea of a nice, small, closed campus, one where everything was within walking distance. I also didn’t want to go to school close to home. I knew that if I didn’t leave New Jersey when I could, I never would. I wanted a beautiful campus, I wanted to be around nature, and I wanted my library to be a place that would make me calm in the midst of all the schoolwork-induced anxiety. Most importantly though, I wanted to go to a very well rounded school, primarily because I had no idea what I wanted to do or major in. (I still don’t know exactly what I want to do with my life.)

My first college tour was on November 9th, 2013 and it was at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT–the place I call home now. I fell in love the second I stepped onto the campus–I had that feeling that everyone always talks about having and my parents loved it too, so it seemed like a match made in heaven…until I looked up the tuition.

I knew that academically I’d be able to go here, but seeing the price tag completely scared me off. I ended up applying to a bunch of other schools that were just like QU: TCNJ, Bucknell, University of Richmond and Brown (as my one miracle chance at an ivy). In the end, I got in everywhere and it ended up being a matter of tuition.

I was between two during those final days before May 1st–QU and TCNJ. Both are excellent schools, both are great for all of my potential majors and both have all the extracurriculars I was interested in. Since I’m from NJ though, TCNJ was significantly cheaper than QU, even with my scholarships. However, I decided that at the end of the day, I’d always dreamed of living in the middle of a mountain, going to a school where I’d wake feeling more inspired today than yesterday and that all the extra money I’d be paying would be going towards making my dreams a reality. The choice became clear as day to me the second I realized that part of what went with the price tag was the overall experience I’d have.

On April 27th, I paid my first deposit and committed to Quinnipiac, a decision that’s easily one of the very few I know I’ll never regret. I’ve never been happier and more at peace with anything else in my life and I’m extremely lucky it all ended up working for me.

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