Thomas Jefferson

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The Big Decision

Posted 05/05/2023 by Stephen LoJacono

The college decision process is full of stress and anxiety - but once the decision is made, life gets a lot better. photo by Ben Hartley

Deciding on where I will go to college which wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.

The topic of college has always been complicated for many people, and now it is my turn to figure out where I will spend my four years after high school. Throughout my life, I never thought about it much because I was just a teenager who had way different priorities in the past. However, I always loved watching college sports teams play football, basketball, and lacrosse, like the University of Oregon, Duke, University of North Carolina, USC, Syracuse, and many other schools across the country. When I made it to Thomas Jefferson High School, I knew I wanted to go to college for sports or education. As my freshman year passed, I started to understand how important college is because of my oldest sister, Lucy. She graduated from TJ after my first year of high school and found a school she thought would be best for her. 

Throughout the next two years of high school, my twin sister Avery and I would visit a few schools in Colorado, Arizona, and California. Avery had a tough time deciding on schools, but she eventually chose the University of San Diego, which is far away from home. It was a stressful time for her, but once she made her decision, I knew I was up next and would be the final kid at home during my senior year of high school. After seeing what my sisters liked and what schools they applied to, I decided to do the same. I had to consider a few important things in order to try to build a perfect puzzle: the size of the campus and community, degrees available, and geographical location.

Throughout the summer before my senior year and during the fall semester, I went to many cool campuses and got a better understanding of where a majority of my friends were applying. I applied to schools around the U.S. and slowly learned about the financial piece of college and what would be realistic for my family. As the fall semester came to an end, I narrowed down my list to the University of Oregon, the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs, and Kansas University. I felt pretty good about all three options but was more comfortable with Oregon and UCCS because I had been to the campus in Colorado Springs a couple of times, and I always liked Oregon as a business and sports school. Throughout the next few months, my family and I talked more about what college would be best for me. I originally wanted to stay closer to home and go to Colorado Springs. I thought staying closer to home might make me feel more comfortable at college, and being only a couple of hours away from my best friends would be better for me.However, this was before I had seen all three of my options.

During spring break I visited Kansas University with my mom, and I loved the campus and everything about the city of Lawrence. With a bigger campus, better sports teams, and a good business school, it felt like the perfect place for me. But I still had some doubts, with the school being an almost 10 hour drive from home and not knowing much about the city. So I thought for days about what college was better for me and my future and felt so stuck about which school to choose. But then it hit me that it was time for something new and I should spread my wings by going somewhere other than close to home. I will be attending Kansas University this fall and can’t wait to be part of the Jayhawk family. 

Even though many people struggle to pick where they want to spend four years of their lives after senior year, it’s okay to second guess the process. However, once you find what you want to be a part of for your foreseeable future, it should feel exciting and drive you to succeed, and I hope Kansas University can do that for me.