For the longest time, I had always dreamed of going to college. Taking classes that you were actually interested in, the campus life, living with/meeting new people, dorm rooms, parties like the ones you see on TV — I dreamed of it all.
When junior year of high school rolled around, my guidance counselor and I were looking at all of the colleges that would fit my long list of needs. I really wanted to go to school in Florida — my dream location. My parents, however, were not on board with me being states away. So, my only choice was to stay somewhere in New England.
I had a good number of colleges on a list, but I had to start narrowing it all down. I visited a lot of art colleges in Boston. Not being a city girl, I knew I couldn't survive well, and I also didn't like the "campus" atmospheres very much.
I ended up only applying to three colleges. One college I wasn't a fan of, but my parents were. That college was also, student body wise, the size of my high school. One college required a foreign language. And one college, I was dying to go to. The one that had everything I was looking for in a college.
I got into the first college that I wasn't a fan of. I got rejected from the second college because I didn't take a foreign language class in high school. And I was deferred from the college I was dying to go to. I was deferred because my grades weren't the best. I stayed after school to get extra help, and worked very hard. The last thing I wanted to happen was to go to a college I wasn't thrilled about, and then go through the transferring process after the first year or semester.
In February of 2014, I received a call from Curry College. The college I was dying to go to. The call that was about to determine my future. I got into my dream school. I started crying from being so happy. That one step towards my career was about to happen.
So, you're probably wondering at this point why I chose Curry, and why I was dying to go there? Read on to find out.
1. Learning disability — PAL program.
Since I had helpful accommodations for my IEP in middle and high school, it was pretty hard to find a college that would support my academic needs. With PAL (Program of Advanced Learning), I am still able to get extra time on tests/exams if I request to take them in the PAL building. I am also able to meet with my assigned PAL professor 1-2 times a week to work on anything I need to.
2. Small classes.
Thirty students to a class can still feel big to me at times, but it is the highest number of students you will have in your classes. Curry College is a smaller school compared to others, so the class CAP at thirty students, and won't exceed that number. This provides more interaction with the professor and the students.
3. Student body size.
My high school had about a little over 100 students in each grade. I wanted to attend a college that had a bigger student body size, so I would have the chance to meet new people more frequently. When I entered into Curry freshman year, there were about 2,100 undergrads total, not including graduate students. That number has exceeded since then.
4. Perfect fit — it felt like home.
You'll read more on why Curry is a perfect fit for me but one reason, to top everything off, is that the first time I stepped foot on campus, it instantly felt like home. That's how you know you picked the right college.
5. It had my major.
I can't tell you how difficult it was to find a college that had a learning disability program AND my major. Although, finding colleges that even just had my major in the New England area that wasn't in the city was somehow hard as it was. Photography may not be a major or minor at Curry, due to it being a smaller school, but I didn't want to completely give up art, so that's why I chose Visual Arts (now "Studio Arts," and also that's me in the picture when you're on the page!)
6. The Staff during tours.
Going on three tours (that's how much I loved the college), I noticed how truly enthusiastic all the staff was. As how all staff should act towards new students, but you could really tell how excited they were for you to apply and to further your education at the college.
7. The Professors.
Two things I kept hearing quite frequently were that because the classes are smaller, your professor knows your name, AND they actually want you to succeed. By the 2nd week of classes, your professors will have learned your name, face, strengths, and weaknesses. Some professors will even add some form of extra credit at the end of their syllabus to help bring your grade up, and they also provide office hours for extra help and questions.
8. The only college tour I didn't get bored on.
I went on a countless amount of college tours, and Curry happened to be the only tour I didn't get bored on. The other tours I went on were making me fall asleep, and didn't really grab my attention; I was constantly zoning out - and thinking about Curry College instead. Curry's campus tour guides will keep you hooked from all the great benefits we have on campus, and the guides love interacting with parents and students.
9. How beautiful the campus is.
While entering Curry, you'll quickly notice how beautiful and well kept it is. The grass is always freshly cut and green, the flowers are healthy, etc. Buildings and Grounds work every day making sure the campus is always looking its best. And just wait until you witness a Curry sunset surrounding the student center.
10. The student center.
The hub of campus, and one of the prettiest buildings we have. Inside is where you will eat all of your meals, check your mailbox, work out, attend a club meeting, play indoor sports, buy books - and so much more! The way it was built inside and out, amazes me every day.
11. It felt like a college campus.
Curry's campus is located in a neighborhood, so it doesn't have the urban college "campus" I didn't want. It already felt like I was living there each time I went on the tours. Every time I got food after a tour, I felt comfortable and I knew where everything was. At other colleges, I felt awkward getting food, and that's something I didn't want to deal with every day for someone who has social anxiety.
12. Didn't have a foreign language requirement.
As you apply to colleges, you'll notice that most colleges have a foreign language requirement. Because I had an IEP in middle and high school, I didn't have to take a foreign language unlike the rest of my classmates. Thankfully, Curry didn't have this requirement, so I was able to apply with no problems.
13. A variety of classes.
We're all interested in different subjects, so because of that, that meant there's a bigger variety of classes to choose from. We have our core classes and major requirements, but as for the core classes, you can choose what type of English class you want to take. You also don't have to be in a certain major to take a certain class.
14. It would expand and improve my art/photography skills.
Since my major is Visual Arts, you can take different types of art classes within that major. I knew it would help improve my skills in art and photography, and also experience new things.