When choosing a college there were so many factors for me to consider. Growing up in Florida I knew that I wanted to attend college out of state if possible. However, I knew that out of state also meant increased cost. After much research, I sent applications to many small liberal arts schools narrowing down my list to focus on schools with a broad curriculum and small class sizes. Another thing I prioritized was the closeness to a larger city. For me, this meant more opportunities to explore and more people to meet. I also knew I wanted to study abroad because of the cultural experience it would provide.
I applied to Goucher College, a liberal arts school which requires every student to study abroad to graduate, offers small classes, and is within Baltimore. After a tour of the school, and a meeting with my college admissions counselor, I received my admissions packet. While the cost deterred me at first (as many schools sticker prices often do), I waited to receive scholarships that thankfully brought the cost down to be extremely affordable. My piece of advice to those who are applying to college - do not let the sticker price deter you, reach out to your admissions counselor about any concerns. They are there for you!
With Goucher College being so close to Baltimore I have access to a lively city - with festivals, concerts, markets, parks, and various other events. Not to mention the vast array of restaurants and coffee shops perfect for any college student.
There are so many unique neighborhoods to explore. One of my favorite areas is Hampden, which has great shoppings spots with authentic stores featuring Baltimore made items. My favorite winter tradition is to see the Miracle on 34th Street and visit the Inner Harbor for the Christmas market after exams with my friends (unfortunately due to COVID the Christmas market is not running this winter).
By taking the Baltimore Collegetown Fellowship course, I was introduced to the community within Baltimore. Even though Baltimore is a large city, there is still a strong sense of community within it. The social entrepreneurs in or who live in Baltimore are some of the most inspirational people I have ever met with good intentions and incredible passion for what they do.
I have enjoyed every second in Baltimore. Seeing leaves change and snowfall for the first time was incredible and the people that I have met have made the experience even better. Going to events around Baltimore, I often run into friends, which makes me realize how tight-knit the community really is. I had thought that Baltimore would be crowded and difficult to meet people, however, that was not the case at all. Not only have I met people through mutual friends, but also when exploring different areas I have connected with some incredibly friendly faces.
My choice to attend Goucher College has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I became involved quickly and found my place on campus. I encourage you to join clubs, get jobs and network as much as possible to make the most of your college experience; it truly makes a difference! I pushed myself to move out of my comfort zone by trying and experiencing new things. The more I explored Baltimore the more I began to feel as if this was my second home.