My Journey To Mount
As I mention in my bio, I live about six hours away from home. So naturally, people always ask me about how I ended up at Mount and how I even found this small school in Alliance, OH. It was actually quite a long process…
I started looking at colleges, with a possible intended major of Neuroscience, in June of the end of my junior year. Collegeboard was my best friend during this time. They have a college matchmaker where you answer questions about where, how much, how big, etc, to narrow down your choices to only the colleges that fit all of those criterion. My problem was I didn’t know what I wanted in a school. I knew I didn’t want a big school like Penn State because I had visited there the previous March and didn’t enjoy the vibe of that massive school. So all I knew for sure that I wanted was a small school (not sure how small though), I wanted to stay on the East Coast, and I thought I wanted the school to have Neuroscience. Luckily for me, only about 50 schools total on the East Coast even offer Neuroscience as a major for a bachelor degree. It’s usually found at the graduate level. I was happy I had narrowed it down so much though, it seemed like good progress. I then looked at the general information for the ones in PA or Virginia that I thought I might like- I didn’t think I wanted to travel out of state besides VA because I have family down there. I picked out six schools, five in PA and one in Virginia near D.C. The first two weeks of June, my dad and I took road trips to travel all across the country to tour my selected schools. I was lucky my parents were aware of the importance of visiting a campus. I immediately fell in love with a school about two hours from my house called Lafayette College and later in the summer became passionate about the school near D.C. called George Mason University. My parents were wary about all the schools I had visited up to that point though, because most were private liberal art schools and very expensive. So my dad went on to college board and found me another 20 schools they told me to look at and pick a few more to potentially visit. By this point I was starting my senior year of highsSchool and felt like I was getting down to the wire on picking which schools to apply for. I picked two schools in Ohio (BW and Mount) and two more in Virginia to visit from my dad’s list. I took the tours of BW and Mount in the same day, with BW first. Coming to Mount couldn’t even compare to BW though. I almost immediately fell in love with the campus. It was exactly what I had been searching for. It’s not in the middle of nowhere but the campus itself is excluded from the outside and doesn’t have much outside traffic running through it. The fact that the school’s main color is purple literally almost made me fall out of my chair in my meeting with one of the advisers. Walking through the buildings and seeing how new everything was impressed me a lot. I probably had my mouth open for half of the tour because I was in awe of everything. I told my dad in the car ride back home that if this college was as close to home as Lafayette it would be number one no doubt. The distance was a major pull back. I didn’t know if I could bring myself to leave all of my friends and family and only be able to come back during breaks. I still applied though and got accepted early! I also was up for a full ride scholarship, which was unbelievable. Unfortunately, I did not receive it but I still received a very generous scholarship. By January of my senior year, after applying and getting accepted to five schools, I had it narrowed it down to three: Mount, Lafayette and George Mason. In February I took another visit to Mount and stayed overnight, which pushed it up to first place on my list. In March I went to the accepted students day at George Mason and suddenly realized that was where I wanted to be the most. It wasn’t too far and I had a blast when I was there. There was a big discrepancy in the amount of financial aid each school was giving me though. This ended up being the deciding factor for me. I did not want to burden my parents with something they couldn’t handle, especially with my two sisters still living at home. So I agreed two days before May 1 to go to Mount Union. The rest of the year and summer though I wasn’t so happy about it. I had made so many more friends my senior year and I couldn’t imagine being so far and barely seeing them after that summer. Once I got here I was reminded why I fell in love with it in the first place and was more than excited to be here. I am happy to say that 98% of the time I’m actually not homesick. With only two weeks until fall break I am a little antsy to go back but that’s mostly because I have set up plans I’m super excited for and my mom keeps telling me all she is going to make for me! I do not regret my decision though, and am very happy where I ended up. It was the best decision I ever made to come here. I love Mount with all of my heart. Even though I had to leave all my friends and family, I know now that it’s wrong to base such an important decision on just that. I am a family person, but to be the best I can be I have to be here. They will still be there for me when I get back, and I realize that now-same with my friends. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”
So if you’re a senior reading this and are in between schools, just trust your gut instinct. I had a feeling about this place since the day I got here, I was just being stubborn and didn’t want to admit it to myself. I was scared. But I turned out completely fine, better than I thought I would be. Part of one of my favorite poem goes as follows: “Trust your heart if the seas catch fire…” If you feel like you’re torn and your whole world is in this chaos just take a step back from it all, make some lists of positives and negatives for each school, and don’t silence your heart because it knows you best.