Stop Putting Down Radford University

Stop Putting Down Radford University

"Since coming to Radford, I've realized how incredibly wrong everyone who speaks ill of the school is."
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For those who don't know, Radford University is a medium-sized school located in Virginia about a half hour drive from Virginia Tech. For incoming freshmen, the middle 50 percent range GPA is a 2.87-3.48 and the middle 50% range SAT score is a 910-1060 (only including critical reading and math). Because Radford is less selective, many people perceive it's quality of education to be just above that of a community college. This perception couldn't be less accurate.

As a senior in high school, I graduated with honors. My GPA was a 3.7 and my SAT scores were a 1150 (only including critical reading and math). I was taking all AP and honors courses, my extracurriculars were above average, and I had stellar letters of recommendation. All of this together should've been enough to secure my admission to many of the public universities in Virginia, however, I was only accepted to Radford University. Frantically, I began calling admissions officers at the schools that had rejected me, pleading for them to take another look at my application. I was told over and over that because of the competitive pool of applicants, I had been thrown out thanks to a D I had received in Trigonometry. It was one D in an ocean of As and Bs. I tried to explain that math had always been a struggle for me and that I was applying as an English major so it really shouldn't matter, but no one would budge. The fact that one grade had such an impact on my college options absolutely crushed me. In the end, I accepted my admission to Radford.

SEE ALSO: 10 Things I Have Learned So Far As A Freshman At Radford





Reading my story, the average person wouldn't consider me to be "unintelligent." However, upon announcing my decision to attend Radford come the fall of 2013, my classmates and friends began to make fun of me and my future school. People with practically the same stats as me joked that I was going to "Virginia Tech's special ed department" and I didn't find the jokes funny. All through high school I had been looking forward to college and suddenly I was dreading it as well as doubting my own intelligence.

Since coming to Radford, I've realized how incredibly wrong everyone who speaks ill of the school is. They say the students are stupid. I'm not stupid and most of the people I know are hard working individuals who could transfer to another school but love the small class sizes and beautiful campus. Yes, there are some students who seem to fall below in the intelligence category, but most of them are weeded out freshmen year because they can't keep up with the challenging coursework. At my freshman orientation, the Dean of Admissions told us that Radford was less selective because sometimes high school students screw up, but that doesn't mean that they aren't smart or capable of succeeding in college. Because of that belief, Radford decided to be the one public school in Virginia that wouldn't turn a student away because of a D in Trigonometry. It isn't low standards that sets Radford apart, it's high hopes for a student's future.

People say that we're getting a far worse education than those going to Virginia Tech, but a lot of our professors actually teach at both Radford and Tech due to the close proximity. I've also had professors who are Tech grads and decided they were happier teaching at Radford full time. Considering our class sizes are much smaller than Tech's, we actually get more one-on-one time time with these fantastic professors so if anything, we're probably receiving a better education than Tech students.

People say no one will hire us after graduation because Radford is nothing but "a party school." Most students I know graduate with full time positions already on the table. Maybe being a Virginia Tech grad means something to an alumni hiring for a position in Virginia, but outside the state, companies don't care where you went to undergrad. They care about your knowledge and experience in the field and thanks to its size, Radford students end up with a lot of in-depth knowledge and terrific opportunities that just wouldn't be possible to provide at a larger school.

Fun fact-- every college is a party school. I'm so completely sick of hearing that Radford is a party school. Yes, there are parties. But guess who else throws parties? James Madison and Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia and EVERY OTHER COLLEGE IN AMERICA.

Currently, I am back home in Richmond, VA for the summer and in the one week that I've been back I've already heard and seen people on social media mocking Radford. It's so ridiculous that anyone thinks that they're above an accredited university. A degree is a degree and unless you attend an Ivy League school (and NO Virginia Tech does not count) then your degree is worth exactly the same as mine.

This article is not to put down any other public schools in Virginia. I used Virginia Tech as an example because Radford students tend to be pitted against Tech students a lot which is really unfair. As I said earlier, it's common for people to refer to my school as Tech's "special ed department" -- a cruel way to allude to students who just want to excel in their fields and obtain a degree.

We're all attending a university to better ourselves and prepare us for life. We all go to class, we all put in serious hours in the library, we all go through the horrors of finals, we all let loose with our friends on the weekends, and we all have the same long term goal. So next time you look down on someone from Radford University, know that one day they could be going up against you for the same job or even end up as your boss and when that happens, no one is going to care where you spent your undergrad.

SEE ALSO: Radford's Nursing Program Changed My Life

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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I'm Not The Person I Was In High School And I'm Not Sorry I Changed

I'm sorry, the old me can't come to the phone right now.

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If those who knew me in high school hung out with me now, they probably wouldn't recognize me. If my friends from college hung out with me around two years ago, they probably wouldn't recognize me. It's safe to say I've changed... a lot. I definitely find the change to be for the better and I couldn't be happier with the person I've become

In high school, I would sit at home every night anxiously waiting to leave and go out. Now, honestly, going out is the last thing I want to do any night of the week. While everyone in college is at a fraternity party or at the bars, I prefer to sit at home on the couch, watching Netflix with my boyfriend. That's an ideal night for me and it is exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do a couple of years ago. There's nothing wrong with going out and partying, it's just not what I want to do anymore.

I craved attention in high school. I went to the parties and outings so I could be in Snapchats and photos, just so people would know I was there. I hung out with certain groups of people just so I could say I was "friends" with so-and-so who was so very popular. I wanted to be known and I wanted to be cool.

Now, I couldn't care less. I go to the bars or the parties if I really feel like it or if my friends make me feel bad enough for never going anywhere that I finally decide to show up. It's just not my scene anymore and I no longer worry about missing out.

If you could look back at me during my junior year of high school, you probably would've found me searching for the best-ranked party schools and colleges with the best nearby clubs or bars. Now, you can find me eating snacks on the couch on a Friday night watching the parties through other peoples' Snapchats.

Some may say that I'm boring now, and while I agree that my life is a little less adventurous now than it was in high school, I don't regret the lifestyle changes I've made. I feel happier, I feel like a better person, I feel much more complete. I'm not sorry that I've changed since high school and I'm not sorry that I'm not living the typical "college lifestyle." I don't see anything wrong with that life, it's just not what makes me happy and it's not what I want to do anymore.

I've become a different person since high school and I couldn't be happier about it. I have a lot that's contributed to the change, but my boyfriend definitely was the main factor as he showed me that staying in can be a million times better than a night out. My interests and my social cravings have completely transitioned into that of an 80-year-old grandma, but I don't regret it.

Change doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can bring a lot more happiness and comfort. The transition from high school to college is drastic, but you can also use it as an opportunity to transition from one lifestyle to another. I don't regret the lifestyle flip I made and I couldn't be less apologetic about it.

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