Why I Chose Norwich As A Civilian

Why I Chose Norwich As A Civilian

One civilian's reason to the question "why?"
135
views

Norwich University is a unique private college in the fact that, for 175 years, civilian students did not live on campus. Founded in 1819, it wasn't until 1972 before they merged with Vermont college and shuttled civilians to and from the campus. In 1994, the full merge of Vermont College and Norwich University, The Military College of the State of Vermont, became a reality and civilians and women were allowed to live on campus with the corps and women could be in the corps for the first time.

This is the moment in history that allowed me to be able to even consider Norwich as a choice. While attending, I got asked a lot my first year why I went to Norwich if I was just going to be a civilian. Why not go to a normal college? I always know the answer, but explaining it to someone who doesn't really know me is difficult. First of all, the way I found out about Norwich blew my mind.

One day I was checking my email designated to the college search, scrolling through the mounds of college's in North Carolina waiving my applications fees or trying to sell me on some aspect of their school, not knowing I wanted to be a good distance from home when I went to college. That's when I stumbled upon an email from Norwich's head wrestling coach, saying he'd love to have me visit the school and check out the team. Now, in my wrestling career I had plenty of people decide my name was just a typo, or thought it was just spelled funny, and decide I was actually called Kyle, and a boy. So my first response to Coach was pretty much I'd love to, but you know I'm a girl, right? The next email I got back mentioned nothing of my gender question and simply said if I was interested I should fill out a prospective athlete form. I raced down the stairs and showed my computer to my parents, shocked and elated that I had received an email from an actual college wrestling coach that didn't care if I was a female that wanted to wrestle co-ed. That was a big check on my list, especially since my number one college was very against females wrestling on previously all-male team.

They had psychology, but I was hoping to look more in depth into forensic psychology. When I visited, that was checked off too, since they were advertising a forensic psychology minor that you could take. Another plus was that you were required to do research to graduate, and boy did I have a lot of hypotheses I'd love to look at on a university's dime.

The last thing was the sense of home I felt when visiting. I'd visited probably around seven colleges and that was the only one that when I spent time there, it felt like I belonged. As for the part about becoming a civilian, well, I pondered being corps for a while. The option of doing research in the military appealed to me, but I could always contract as a civilian. I decided in the end my distaste for authority acting like their, well, authority, and the Army recruiter who told me yeah, maybe the military isn't for you, were probably good signs I shouldn't go corps side.

That's why I went civilian, that's why I chose a private military academy rather than a normal college, and I'm glad I did. There's nowhere else I think I could've gotten the experiences I did other than Norwich. I somewhat understand a world most don't even get the chance to see. I can communicate with people in what can seem like a whole other language. And while the military path isn't necessarily for me, I know the other options that are open to me from this experience I was blessed to have.

Cover Image Credit: Kaylee Krizan

Popular Right Now

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

No, A Colored Student Did Not 'Steal Your Spot,' They Worked Hard To Get Here

I keep hearing this ignorant question of, "How come illegal immigrants can get scholarships, but I can't?"

124
views

Real talk, this whole "they're stealing our resources!" thing has to stop.

It ranges from welfare to acceptance letters into prestigious universities. People (and by people, I'm referring to those who identify as white) have made the assumption that they are having their opportunities stolen by people of color. That's ridiculous.

I love my university. I love the people at my university. However, when I sit in a classroom and look around at my colleagues, the majority of them are white. Of course, there are some classes that are filled with more people of color, but for the most part, they're predominantly white. So, let's say that out of a classroom of 30 students, only 7 identify as people of color.

In what world can somebody make the argument that those 7 students are stealing the spot of a white student? I don't think people realize how hard those 7 students had to work just to be in the same spot as their white counterparts.

Let me use my experience: I am a Latina woman who is attending university on a full-ride scholarship. I don't always tell people about this, because I don't feel like being asked, "wow, what did you do to get that?!" A lot. I keep hearing this ignorant question of, "How come illegal immigrants can get scholarships, but I can't?"

First off, those "illegal immigrants" you're bashing, don't even qualify for financial aid. They don't qualify for most scholarships, actually. Second, have you considered that maybe, that "illegal immigrant" worked hard in and outside of school to earn their scholarship? I received my full-ride scholarship on the basis of my GPA, but also because I am a lower-class woman of color and was selected because I am disproportionately affected by poverty and access to a quality education.

So, this scholarship was literally created because there is an understanding that minorities don't have the same access to education as our white counterparts. It's not a handout though, I had to work hard to get the money that I have now. When white students get scholarships, it's not a handout but when you're Latina like me, apparently it is.

This way of viewing minorities and their education is damaging, and further discourages these people from receiving a quality education. We didn't steal anybody's spot, we had to work to get where we are, twice as hard as our white colleagues that are not discriminated against on a daily basis.

Instead of tearing down students of color because you didn't get a scholarship, why not criticize the American education system instead? It's not our fault tuition is $40k a year, and we have no reason to apologize for existing in a space that is predominantly white.

To students of color: you worked hard to get where you are, and I am proud of you. To white students: I'm proud of you too. We all worked hard to get to where we are now, let's lift each other up, not put each other down.

Related Content

Facebook Comments