Choosing a college is hard. There’s a million different programs, recruitments, and places to choose from. Literally, the opportunities are endless. You could stay close to home, go halfway across the world, and major in anything from engineering to pop culture (yeah, that’s actually a thing). And the age-old question is: why did you decide to go there?
I only applied to four colleges: Minnesota, Butler, Ohio State, and Iowa. And I had an idea of what I wanted when I was looking at schools: one that was big, because bigger schools = bigger opportunities. So if I wanted to change my major seven times, I could. Minnesota was my second choice, but frankly, it was overwhelming. A giant school combined with a giant city was a lot. I did like Ohio State, but the main thing that turned me away from it was how far away it was from home – nine hours is a LONG drive, and I wasn’t looking to make that trip multiple times a year. Finally, Butler just wasn’t my cup of tea (they do have a super cute bulldog as a mascot though).
Even though I am from Wisconsin, I was against looking at any schools there, much to my parent’s dismay. Really, the only school that I would have considered was UW-Madison, and I didn’t want to go to college with a bunch of people from my high school.
I chose Iowa because the first time I came here, it felt like home. The makeup of Iowa City is actually very similar to my hometown: a college (albeit much smaller than Iowa), and downtown literally right next to it. Having that similarity was one of the largest factors that helped seal the deal to come here. My absolute favorite thing about University of Iowa and Iowa City is the small-town feel combined with the large university opportunities. And in my opinion, it is the perfect distance from home: five hours isn’t too far away, but far away enough.
College is all about branching out, finding new opportunities, and starting out your life ‘on your own’, but it needs to be in a place that you are comfortable to become the person that you want to be.