How I Chose Coastal Carolina University

Choosing which college to attend is not easy and can actually be one of the biggest decisions that someone might make. There are a ton of things to consider when picking a college. In the end, my decision came down to choosing between which opportunities I could take advantage of immediately and what the location of the school was like.

From the time I was a sophomore in high school, I always told my parents that I didn’t want to go to college in Pennsylvania, the state that I grew up in. In fact, I didn’t want to stay in the north at all. I was dead set against even applying to schools in the north. I was tired of the cold and the snow and just wanted to be somewhere that was warmer year-round. Since we took a family vacation to North or South Carolina each year and I really liked that area, I focused my search in those states.

Edward R. Singleton Building | Coastal Carolina University
Edward R. Singleton Building | Coastal Carolina University | Photo by Coastal Carolina University Relations

In the summer before my junior year of high school, my parents and I spent part of our vacation visiting schools in the two states. From that point on, I dreamed of attending the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (UNC). I truly and honestly loved it there. Still, we also took a tour of Coastal Carolina which I also thought was incredible. Plus, Coastal is only a short distance from the beach. I decided that I would apply to both of them, along with some other schools in the area. I still never even considered applying to schools in Pennsylvania.

However, as my senior year rolled around and I started to realize that nothing is really a sure bet, I decided to apply to a few schools in the north. The only problem was that I didn’t choose these schools based on anything substantial. I applied to the University of Pittsburgh just because I liked the Cathedral of Learning, and Susquehanna University just because I had an application fee waiver and a friend who was already attending the school. I wasn’t really all that excited about either one of them at the time. Little did I know that Susquehanna would become a real contender in my ring of colleges.

Unfortunately, the out-of-state acceptance rate at UNC is fairly miniscule, so I didn’t manage to get accepted there. It was the only school that I didn’t get accepted to, and my world was kind of shaken afterwards. I had my heart set on UNC and all of the sudden I didn’t even have the option to go there. Once I was able to wrap my mind around that, I started narrowing down my other choices. By the winter, I had decided that I would probably attend either Susquehanna or Coastal Carolina, but I was having a hard time choosing between the two.

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On one hand, Coastal was close to the beach and in an area that I had always wanted to live in. Not to mention, they have a business program with a ton of accreditations, which leads to a great degree. Susquehanna, though, was offering me a lot of money and an assistance-ship research program for all four of my undergraduate years. Like I said, I was forced to choose between an immediate opportunity and location.

To help make my decision, my parents and I visited each school again, which is easier said than done when you live twelve hours from one of the schools.

Coastal Carolina University
Coastal Carolina University | Photo: Stephanie Roa

Visiting Susquehanna was incredible and very individualized. They really wanted me to go there. The only problem was that it was a really, really cold day when we visited and I hate that cold. When I visited Coastal again in April, I fell in love with the campus again. I loved the atmosphere on campus, the weather, and I knew that I would be able to make my own opportunities there. I also liked the size of the school, and the fact that they were growing constantly.

So, even though I don’t think my mom was too excited about a rash decision, I decided to commit to Coastal right after our tour. I usually don’t make quick decisions like that, but I had been trying to make this decision for months and after the tour I just knew that it was the place for me. To be completely honest with you, I was right. The school is great and I have found the opportunities that I was looking for. I’m really happy here at Coastal, and it’s all because I followed what my heart was telling me!

Colleges I Visited: