I am trying to choose between two wonderful schools at the moment. Many times I have had to reiterate “Samford, not Stanford,” or “I’ll be pursuing the Redcoat Band, not the UGA Honors Program.” Sometimes I feel as if a few people think I should be reaching higher. But I am certain I am pursuing exactly what I need.
When I go to college, I want to have a meaningful experience. I’m so tired of school. I’ve done school. I’ve done school for 14 years, and if I’ve got to do it for at least 7 more, I might as well make it worthwhile.
I don’t want to be overly stressed. I don’t want studying to consume my life. I want to take advantage of my opportunities. I want to make meaningful contributions. I want to make the world a better place. I want to leave that university knowing that I have changed it and that it has changed me.
I actually am choosing to do more, because while I value education and my vocation, there is so much more to life than just that. There is more to college than studying, and there is more to life than work, and I want my college experience to reflect that.
Unsurprisingly, studies show that there is a correlation between student engagement and retention. From one study, research reported “failure to become involved in campus activities, organizations, and extracurricular activities, which promote involvement and integration of college life, can lead to higher chances of attrition for some students.” It is strongly suggested that academics alone are not enough to help some students persist. (The study can be found here.)
Just because one gets accepted into his/her reach school doesn’t mean he/she has to go there. I’ve decided to seek a place in which I can see myself integrating into the campus or city. If it’s going to be home, I better be able to love it.