Last week I made a trip with a few of my sorority sisters to DePauw University, a small private school in Greencastle, a town west of Indianapolis. We went there to hear Bill Clinton speak as a part of the Ubben Lecture Series (more on that in another post), but we learned a lot more about ourselves than we thought that we would during our 3 or 4 hours on campus. DePauw is a lot like Butler in that it is a small private university, so we kind of felt like we were still at Butler while we were there. We got lunch from their student union, we visited a few friends in their Greek houses, and we walked around campus. While we did all of these different things, we never felt out of place or really lost, and it kind of felt familiar in a way. What we did start to realize, however, is how different we would be even if we went to DePauw…just because no two people have the exact same college experience…anywhere.
Now don’t think that I am putting DePauw down in any way, because it is a beautiful and amazing school. In fact, I think that if I would have visited it, or included it in my college search process at all…I might not have ended up at Butler…because it is that cool. It is closer to my home, in a cute small town, and the campus is absolutely beautiful. But looking back, I know that if I would have ended up going to DePauw, my life would look completely different than it does now, and there are so many things that I would not have had the chance to do. It would be alright, because other opportunities would have come my way, but it just makes me so thankful that I ended up at Butler, and that my 3.5 years there have been filled to the brim with awesome things and fabulous people.
So, if you are a senior (or junior, sophomore, or freshman) in high school, and you are looking at colleges, my advice is to not worry about everything I have just talked about yet…because if you do you could just overwhelm yourself. There is no way for you to know what your college experience will be like and what you will have the opportunity to do simply by visiting a school or reading their brochure. What you can do, however, is go to college next year (or in a few years), just enjoy college for all that it is, and to let your experience unfold before you. You’ll thank me when it’s over and you can look back and see how cool your 4 years have been, and how thankful you are that you had the opportunity to experience everything that you did.