If you aren't familiar with UConn (the University of Connecticut -- also known as "The Basketball Capital of the World"), then here are a few key facts to get ya up to speed: At around 20,000 undergraduate students on campus, what started as a small agricultural school has grown over the years into one of the top 25 public universities and offers a variety of highly-ranking majors, from business, engineering, and nursing to fine arts, education, and even a school of puppetry (I'm not kidding).
For high school seniors looking to make, arguably, the biggest decision in their lives thus far -- you probably already knew all of this. By this time you've been on countless college tours, led around each campus by a different group of preppy student guides in polo shirts sporting their school's logo. You've been told which schools offer the best programs for your major, which ones have smaller classroom sizes or more club activities, and you've probably heard about the "party schools" from your friends and older siblings.
But what about the things they don't tell you on college tours? What makes each one unique? Why choose UConn over all the others?
Do it for the sports.
Our men's team has won 4 Division 1 NCAA Tournament Championships and the women have 11 trophies total, with four in the last four years (they also broke their own record by scoring their 91st consecutive win -- basically, they're unstoppable). The student section in Gampel Pavillion is unreal -- from taking pictures with Jonathan the Husky to decking yourself out in blue and white (or painting letters across your chest), it's a pure adrenaline rush: cheering on your team surrounded by a whole UConn Nation of fans.
Do it for the community.
You'll learn to appreciate every 8 a.m class, dining hall meal, and windy trek across campus once you've found the right people to share your #struggles with. You'll look back on nights spent in sweaty frat basements or walking along Celeron Path as a freshman, and wonder how you ever considered weekly Domino's and Wings Over a "healthy" diet to follow. Find a quiet spot in the library -- a graffitied cubby in the basement that's all your own, until someone takes it come finals week, or make Dog Lane dates a study ritual with friends. Maybe you'll rush Greek life, produce a WHUS radio show or volunteer to finish all 18 hours of Huskython. You can try something new or create a club of your own -- the possibilities are endless.
Do it for yourself.
College is about so much more than the facts and statistics you're offered at face value. No matter where you go -- whether it's a large university or small liberal arts school -- your college experience will be whatever you make of it. It's a sum of the school that you choose, the friends you'll meet, and your own willingness to step outside your comfort zone (at times). So don't stress! No matter where your interests take you, your school will soon become a home.