From the moment I decided I wanted to attend college as a little girl, I had this idea that I would go to a large university. I had my sights set high, and I believed the only way I could achieve those goals was if I attended a large university. Don't ask me why I thought that. I guess my premature brain only believed what it saw in movies, and the only way I could be as successful as Elle Woods was if I attended Harvard. But, I can assure you my mind has completely changed because that is definitely not the truth.
Senior year came around and I took it upon myself to only apply to two in-state colleges because I knew I'd eventually transfer to a college in a city where I wanted to settle down and find a job. I was immediately offered a scholarship to the larger college but was a bit disheartened because I knew the scholarship wouldn't compare to the one I'd receive from the smaller university. I had no doubt in my mind that my parents wouldn't mind paying a bit (a lot) extra, but I also knew that I'd rather not burden them or place myself in debt when I had the option not to.
So, I accepted the offer to the smaller university, but it wasn't an easy process. Friends began to criticize me, making small remarks such as I "deserve somewhere better" or that "people with big dreams and aspirations in life didn't have their sights set on places like that."
I tried to push it to the back of my mind, attempting to convince myself that they didn't understand need-based decisions and that their comments only came from a lack of understanding, but it still weighed a lot on me. I began questioning my own decisions and believing I wasn't good enough because I wasn't attending a large school like they were.
But when I got here, I realized choosing Troy University, a smaller university, was probably one of the best decisions I could've made for myself.
Of course, it was bumpy in the beginning, but most college experiences are like that. Once the rough part was over, I was the happiest I'd been in a while. I still am the happiest I've been in a while. Going to a smaller university, I'm able to see familiar faces everywhere I go, my teachers know me by name, and I know I'm never alone in any situation. Everything feels so personal, and a personal connection is something I continuously crave no matter my surroundings. It also fits me so much better. I know I'm not the most outgoing person, so at a smaller university, it's easier to feel that personal relationship with everyone and everything. I feel as though I'm in a tight-knit community. It's my step between where I was, and where I want to be in life, and it's a step I'm forever grateful I took.