Happy Where I'm At

By Alison Vandenburgh on September 02, 2013
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Reflecting back on my choice of college, I can’t help but consider how things would have been different if I had chosen a different school. To be honest, this is mostly for superficial reasons; after breaking my foot last winter, I have considered how much easier my freshman year would have been if I hadn’t been on crutches for the majority of my second semester!

However, there are other things I have considered: after seeing so many of my high school friends pledging sororities, I wonder what my life would have been like had I chosen a school with an active Greek life. Or post-visiting my good friend at school in New York City, I dream about my life at college in the middle of a big city.

All things considered though, I am happy with my choice to attend Georgetown. I think that it was the best choice for me at the time, and that it is a choice that will serve me well in years to come.

Change of heart = Change of schools

When narrowing my possible schools (both pre- and post-application processes), there were two main things that became deciding factors for me: program of study and location. My junior year in high school, I was convinced that I wanted to study engineering in college and researched schools accordingly. However, between my junior and senior years, I experienced a complete change of heart and decided that what I really wanted to study in college was international affairs,  which, as you may imagine, involved me researching a whole different set of schools!

After visiting a variety of schools in a variety of locales, I came to the decision that the best choice of location (both for my chosen study of international affairs and my personal preferences on where I wanted to live) for me was Washington, D.C. Not only would I be surrounded by everything I was studying in school, I would have a large city right outside my campus gates just waiting to be explored!

Once I made this decision, however, I still had to decide which of the international affairs schools in the area was the best fit for me. I’m not going to lie, there was a lot of agonizing over this decision.

But what it all came down to was that Georgetown was the school that would best fulfill all my needs. And, despite any unfortunate injuries I may have sustained since that decision, I still stand by that choice! I truly am happy where I am.

No such thing as the perfect school

Honestly, I don’t think I would have done anything differently, given the chance to do it over. Watching my sister apply to college this past fall has brought back all the memories of my own senior year and, although I sometimes feel that there are other schools I would be happy at, I don’t regret my choice to go to Georgetown.

Many students get it into their heads that there is that one “perfect school,” where everything will be just like it is in the movies and nothing will go wrong. All I can say is please just forget about that!

There are plenty of schools where you can be happy and excel and, trust me, regardless of where you go there will be problems. I can’t fill my head with “what if’s," what’s the point?

I am happy at Georgetown and, even if there are little things I wish I could change, so what? I make the best of it and, overall, it’s been a great year and a half or so.

Don’t stress too much about your post-secondary choices; that isn’t to belittle the hugeness of the decision, as I know it’s a lot. However, just know that if you put in the time, where you end up will be great, and to think about all those other “what if’s” will just waste time that you could be spending enjoying what will be some of the best years of your life!


About the Author

Alison Vandenburgh

Alison Vandenburgh

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