My College Decision: Journey to Endicott College

by Erin Westerman  | @ErinSCV | Smart College Visit Intern  

Erin WAs you enter junior year of high
school, you might find that every long lost family member, parents of friends,
and basically anyone that you meet will begin to ask you where you’ve decided
to go to college, what you want to study, and what you hope to do for the rest
of your life. My answer to all of the above used to be “I have absolutely no
idea” and after a while I dreaded the questions. . In fact,  I was so overwhelmed by the thought of college
that I had no idea where to start.

Then, halfway
through the summer that led up to my junior year in high school, I realized
that my college decisions would be coming up much sooner than I was prepared
for so I needed to get myself into gear.

For starters, I decided that, as
tempting,  warm and sunny as Florida is,
I wanted to stay in New England so I could be  far enough away that I wouldn’t have to take a
plane  to come home every once in a while
. That was a good enough starting point so I bought the latest edition of the "Princeton Review’s Top Colleges and Universities," used my high school’s college
Erins Feet
database to find matches around the area, and checked out each college’s

To organize myself, I had a notebook in which I wrote where each
college was, the programs they had that interested me, and other pros and cons
of the school. When I toured each school on-line, I wrote pages of notes about
things I loved and those I wasn’t a big fan of.  There were other criteria that I found
important, such as if there were good study abroad and internship programs. Once
I had done all the boring research, I decided that I needed to take more
initiative so I started calling up the schools that were within an hour’s
driving distance to set up tours, which I proceeded to drive myself to.

figured that if I really loved a school I would bring my parents back to see
it. I ended up applying to six schools that seemed right for me. This process,
though tedious and overwhelming at times, was what gave me the push I needed.
It makes me proud, looking back, that I did everything myself and that I
essentially made the decision all on my own.   

The first time I stepped on
Endicott’s campus, I fell in love; that’s how it is sometimes. I just got that
gut feeling that this was where I needed to be. The reason I toured at Endicott
in the first place was because my mom went here back in the Stone Ages when
it was a two-year, all women’s institution. Now it’s a co-educational four-year
college with its own graduate school. So, just like that “sure, Mom, I guess
we’ll go look at your school” turned into “I need to go here.”

The college is
in the cute little town of Beverly, Massachusetts, which is right next to Salem
and a train ride from Boston. It also helps that Endicott is on the beach and
has the most beautiful campus I had ever seen. Besides looks, Endicott has a
lot of things that are important to me such as a study abroad program which will
allow me to travel for a whole semester or just during vacations. And since I don’t
know what I want to do after I graduate, the strong internship program here,
which requires students to complete three internships before graduation, is
perfect for me to explore various options.

Coming from a small town, I decided
that a small school was right for me and Endicott fit that criteria, too.  There are only about 2,500 undergraduate
students and none of the classes have more than 30 students. Because I was so
passionate about attending Endicott College, I came back for every Open House and
Focus Day
that I could as well as for an interview, which I would strongly
recommend to anyone who has their sights set on a specific school. I’m
confident that I have made the right choice for me because I feel so
comfortable here. Though it undoubtedly was not an easy process, knowing that
I’m happy where I am made all that stress well worth it.