Reflecting on What is Important to Me-Natalie Naranjo

By Natalia Naranjo on September 02, 2013
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It scares me to think of all the decisions I’ll be dealing with in a couple of months. It seems like just yesterday I was gathering all my information and putting it neatly in an envelope to send off to various schools across the country.

In this false sense of tranquility between the hope and the actual reality of the situation, I haven’t focused much on the choices I’ll have to make, but instead the selection of choices I’ll have. Now that I really put some thought into it, I realize it’s one of the most important decisions I’ll make in my life.

Sorting through all the expectations and factors that will determine where I spend the next four years of my life is tough, but I do know what I want from a college.  

Not too far away

One thing that is really important to me is the proximity to home. Although I’m excited to leave home and start being more independent, I don’t want to be so far away where it’s really inconvenient to come back from time to time when I’m feeling homesick.

I want to be far enough away to where my parents can’t visit me every weekend, but close enough to where I can come and visit whenever I want. Leaving family is going to be tough, because I was always that kid who got homesick really easily, and I know I’ll have those moments when I just want to go back to my old room and feel at home.

This may conflict with my parents’ plans, since they probably want me out of the house as soon as possible, but in all seriousness, I want to be close but I wouldn’t want to hinder my chances for a better future or a better school. The rough part of the final decision is finding the balance. 

We’ve got spirit, how ‘bout you?

Another factor in my decision-making process is attending a college with school spirit and a sense of mutual love between the students and the school.

The feeling of being decked out in your school colors, chanting the fight song at the top of your lungs and dancing around in the stands with friends is central to what I think being at college should be. The idea goes past the football game realm of excitement, in fact it’s multi-faceted. I want a real campus where I can stroll around or rush off to class and just feel comfortable in.  

Getting out of my comfort zone

One of the most important things of all when deciding where to go to college is the people there and the atmosphere of the school. I want to be challenged and, through those challenges, learn new things about myself.

I want to be immersed in different opinions and points of views so I can learn in different ways than ever before.

Partying is definitely not my thing and I know that my job at college is to learn and soak up everything I can from the experience (since it’s already so expensive), so I don’t want to waste my time in a place where education isn’t the main goal.

I know my expectations are high and the standards I have set may be hard to fulfill, but I think that my final choice will be a great one, and I’ll look back on this time and be grateful for all the planning I did. It won’t be too long before the pro and con lists come out and I finally make a decision, but for now I’ll just enjoy senior year and expect the unexpected.


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Natalia Naranjo

Natalia Naranjo

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