My absolute dream school ever since I decided I wanted to be a Broadcasting major and work in entertainment news has been University of California, Los Angeles. I always wanted to go there and had visions of myself graduating with honors and at least 3 internships under my belt, then moving on to work for a huge entertainment company, broadcasting live from the red carpet and living the life I have always dreamed of living.
However, this dream of mine didn't become a reality. It would be way too expensive for my family for me to go to college in California, considering I live in Ohio. And when I first was told that I shouldn’t even apply, I was absolutely heartbroken. It felt like all of my plans were falling apart, and that hurt. But then as time went on and I became more accustomed to the idea, I realized that this might not be the end of the world as I know it, and that is a good thing.
When I started looking at other schools, I was looking for schools with really good broadcasting programs. I tried to go into all of my college visits with an open mind, but it was hard sometimes. I was frustrated at my family for not being able to send me cross-country, and now I have learned that it is no ones fault, its just the way my cards were dealt. I went on my visit to the University of Toledo, and fell in love with the campus, the broadcasting program, and all of the people there.
Toledo was also the only University I visited where the professors came up to me individually, and asked me what I wanted to get out of my experience, and what I wanted to do after college. When I explained my dream to them, they automatically told me about many different options that I would have, one of them being an opportunity to “study away” at UCLA and take courses there for a semester and possibly even score an internship at a big entertainment company.
That day I learned that being at a school where people care about you is an extremely important aspect of your personal journey. I felt so at home there, and I went home excited to make another visit. Each time I went to the campus for a visit (5 total) I was having new opportunities brought up to me that will help me to achieve all of my goals.
By not being able to apply at UCLA, I thought that all of the things I wanted to do with my life were going to be impossible. I was thinking about switching my major that I had wanted to do for so long. But it turns out that the exact opposite is happening. I am getting to work towards my goal still, while also being able to afford it, and stay close to my family. It really is the best of both worlds.
So if you have had a similar experience, or you are feeling very discouraged about the school you’re “settling” for, look at it as a positive. I was dead set on getting my degree from UCLA, and now I’m actually going to end up obtaining it from the University of Toledo and honestly I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Lead Image Credit: By Thomas (originally posted to Flickr as LA from the Getty) via Wikimedia Commons.