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Decisions, Decisions

Everyone's different, but that doesn't mean that you can't learn from others.

Lahela Maxwell

January 15, 2013

Decisions, Decisions
Right now, you are probably sitting. On a chair, your bed, maybe the floor. You are most likely in your house that you have lived in for some time, with your parents or your guardians, who are off somewhere doing something parental. Your siblings, if they exist, are annoying you. School may be bearing down upon you, like it’s crushing upon me. We both want to eat dinner, because it was probably a long day. All of these things we all have in common right now, but there are still vast differences resting in the details of our lives that make me different from you.

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Do you drink tea before bed, if at all? Do you enjoy warm light of the spring or first snow drifts of the winter? My mother likes to steam rice nightly for dinner; whereas your aunt may be in charge of cooking the potatoes in the morning. You may prefer the wide-open space of a bedroom that you don’t share, while I can’t stand sleeping alone. You may be an early bird, and I’m definitely an insomniac fool. We are different.
What I want in life is most likely vastly different from what you want. Where you want to live, what you want to do, how you enjoy life. Which is why our lives will be radically different. Hence, the process of choosing a college is going to be different.

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No one can give solid advice on how to choose a college, but I am going to attempt to share how I decided. Everyone is different, but that does not mean that you cannot enjoy and learn from others’ experiences. When I first started looking into colleges, I had no idea where to start. Luckily, I knew what I wanted to study, so that definitely narrowed the field to schools that offered my area of study. If a school didn't have the specific major I wanted, I made sure that it at least had a similar major or department. If it didn't at least have that, the college was off my list. Next, I started to think about where I wanted to be. I knew that I wouldn't be able to remain sane in the Midwest. I would go stir-crazy. I am from Hawai`i, and I am used to being able to see the ocean, large bodies of water, and a tightly laid out infrastructure. I don’t think I’d be able to stand knowing that I was smack dab in the middle of the country. So I ruled out any schools there. I knew I wanted to remain on a coast, and I wanted to seek out a school near a city. I knew I wanted a traditional campus, as I wanted to live on campus. I started to cut down my list and my wants and needs from a colleges started to change.

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I realized what I wanted wasn't dead set. I had to account for money and, of course, and whether I would be able to handle the idea of being completely alone. So, I moved my dreams of New York to a more realistic California. I finally decided on Humboldt State University, a quaint little college in the middle of a redwood forest. It wasn't a city, that’s for sure. It wasn't an arts-specific school. But it looks like it can be home. My counselors are incredibly open and nice. The town is small, but lively. The school has a hippie, laid-back vibe that reminds me of my dear beach-side home. I know that I can find myself there, and that college there will be filled with late night treks that I dreamed of. Maybe I won’t be journeying through a subway at midnight, maybe I won’t be at some high rise dorm learning to deal with temperamental elevators. But I will be at colleges, growing as a person. I know that my choice was the right choice for me, because when I thought I knew what I wanted, but when I began to out my heart into the search, I felt the right choice could be made to help me. That’s why I decided to move to forest of trees, and not skyscrapers.

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