1. Jenny — Loyola University Chicago
"Growing up, I never had a dream school, even in high school during the application process I didn't have a 'dream school,' and I only applied to three schools in total, but I did have a "dream" person that I wanted to become when I was at that school. For me, it wasn't about the physical school I went to, the teams that I would cheer on or the mascot that would inevitably creep me out anytime I saw it, but it was about the place that would become my new home. Loyola University Chicago is my dream school because of the overwhelming amount of ways that it has helped shape me into the person I am becoming and I've only been there for one year. Loyola is my dream school because of the people I've met in classes, the professors who are always willing and actually enjoy getting to know and help their students, and the overall community that I have entered, which is what I think is the most important thing in a school. It becomes more than where you live or study because it truly becomes a home, which is what Loyola has become for me."
2. Darian — California State University, Chico
"I chose Chico State because of the vast opportunities that lie ahead of me in the college of agriculture. Chico State is well known for their college of agriculture and I wanted to continue my education in agriculture. I am currently studying business and in the near future I plan to be operating my own winery."
3. Ester — University of California, Santa Cruz
"I chose UC Santa Cruz because I loved the campus and the fact that it's by the ocean. It's calm (which I think will help my anxiety when it gets bad) and I know that I'll be offered the best schooling when it comes to my major (music composition and theory) because they are known to have a good music department."
4. Edgar — University of California, Riverside
"When I applied to the University of California, Riverside, I did not think much of it. Once the time came around to pick a university, one of the things I considered the most was my financial aid award and UCR was the one that provided what I needed to fulfill my first-year experience. During my first year I was able to meet a lot of new people, live new experiences and get to know myself better. UCR hosts amazing concerts like Heat, Spring Splash and Block Party. UCR provides me with an excellent resource center that showed me how I could travel abroad and how I could win scholarships as an undocumented student. UCR is my dream school because it taught me that I, too, have a voice."
5. Bailey — University of Nevada, Reno
"When I was in high school, I had a very difficult time trying to figure out where I wanted to go to college. I always had thoughts of going to an Ivy or UC, but those schools were simply out of my budget. I toured schools all over the state, but didn’t really fall in love with any of them, and if I was spending so much money I should love it, right? I started looking at out of state schools, because anywhere is cheaper than California, and decided to take a tour at the University of Nevada, Reno. Let me tell you, when you go on a tour of your future school, you just know. It's a gut feeling knowing that you will be comfortable living here for four years and will be filled with pride repping those school colors. You hear about all of the traditions and can't wait to participate for yourself. I was blown away by the amount of resources students had access to at a tier-one university (and the amount of money Nevada has to spend on its students) that my California friends didn't have. My first year of college has been the best year of my life. I have met some of my best friends, enjoyed learning from top-notch professors and grown from the experiences I only could have had here at UNR. Five years ago, I never would have imagined myself at UNR. Today, I can't imagine my life being anywhere else."
6. Bobby — Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
"I just finished my first year at Cal Poly SLO and it exceeded all of my expectations coming into the school. I wanted a good engineering school that was close enough to home but out of arm’s reach. I went to Cal Poly because all around me people were hyping it up as a great school in a great location with a solid Christian group there (I grew up in a Christian family and affiliate that way myself). Nonetheless, I didn’t expect much from it as I thought I knew that it was mostly an Ag school. It does have a large agricultural program but a much larger engineering program that is hands on and practical. I love that part about college, however, what makes it my dream school are the beautiful hills that it sits in, the spectacular weather, and the warm community of people. My only complaint would be that it isn’t a very diverse environment to go to college in. My college experience at Cal Poly has surpassed all my dreams and made every repetitive, 'Enjoy college because it's one of the best times of your life,' worth hearing."
7. Bria — University of Alabama
"The main reason why I chose to go to UA is because it's a family thing. A lot of my family on my dad's side went to this school. So it's like a 'legacy' thing almost. Also, I grew up with as a UA fan since birth (lol). Although it wasn't necessarily my dream school, I love it just the same and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else!"
8. Isaac — University of California, Santa Barbara
"I chose UC Santa Barbara because out of all the schools I got accepted to, it was the farthest. No ulterior motives, it wasn't even my dream school. I'm not even sure if I had a dream school. My only dream was to get as far away from my family and this town as possible."
9. Whitney — Azusa Pacific University
"At first, Azusa was not my dream school; it wasn't my first choice. But after attending orientation and visiting the campus a few times, I immediately fell in love. From the moment I stepped on campus, I felt welcomed. The people are so genuine and the professors are very personable. The class sizes are small which makes it easy to succeed, and when you're having a bad day, the students and faculty on campus are always trying to help out. The school is constantly pushing us students to push ourselves academically, spiritually, physically and mentally. Azusa became my dream school because of the stellar academics and the supportive community."
10. Francisco — University of California, Berkeley
"My dream school is my dream school because of its location. I visited San Francisco a few years back for the first time, and since then I knew I wanted to live there, even if just for a bit. I applied to Cal because of its notoriety, old buildings and, most importantly, location. I went to a community college (CC) and worked hard because I believed in myself. CC gave me a new start and I excelled in some weird way, but hey, I did it and now I'm on to bigger things. Cal is not in SF but it's in the Bay and the weather usually never goes over 80 which is perfect. SF is just a hop and a skip away. I'm very excited to be attending in the fall."
One's "dream school" can never be held to a standard or guideline. There is not a formula to knowing where you belong. Although some people may not be attending their initial "dream school," it is crucial to make the most of your experience. Everything happens for a reason! Explore your school and all it has to offer; I promise you will fall in love soon enough!
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