As a Student Ambassador, one of my jobs or roles is to be a student representative at the Admissions pathway program. For those of you who don’t know, the Admissions pathway program is when a small group of 10th graders from a local Baltimore County high school come to CCBC to learn about college and the benefits of CCBC. At this program we have representatives from career services, financial aid and of course admission come and talk to the students about career choices, how to pay for college, and other similar things. After all of the different presentations were over and before I gave the students a tour of the campus, I was asked to introduce myself and talk about my experiences post high school.
I started off by saying who I was, and my path from high school to my previous college to CCBC. I told the Students that right after high school I originally did not want to attend CCBC I wanted to go to a four year school and not even give CCBC a chance. So that is what I did. Right after high school, I went to McDaniel College for 1 semester and realized that it wasn’t the right fit for me so I transferred to CCBC last spring. I then went on to telling them how after my first semester at CCBC I started to become more involved on campus, with having an on campus job, becoming a Student Ambassador and so much more.
After introducing myself and talking to the students about my college experiences, a boy in the back of the room raised his hand and asked “How do you know that a college is the right fit for you? And how do you know that CCBC is a better fit for you?” When I was asked this question it really made me think for a minute. It wasn’t hard for me to say what it was that I did or didn’t like about both schools, but it was hard to break it up so that a 10th grader with no understanding of college would understand.
When I answered his question, I knew I had to bring out what I look for in a college and how McDaniel differed from my expectations. I started off by saying how the only time I visited McDaniel was on an admissions day, and how when I got there as a student everything seemed so different. When you are visiting a college on an admissions day you really do not get to see what classes are like, how people interact with each other, or even how big the student body really is.
When I got there as a student I realized that the student body was A LOT smaller than I thought. Everybody knows everybody, and the slightest bit of drama gets carried around to the entire campus. I also realized that everything changes on an admissions day, from the food served in the cafeteria to how clean and kept up the campus is . I’m not saying that it was dirty, it just had a different atmosphere when I was there as a prospective student than when I was there a student. I also realized early in the semester that I always went home on weekends trying to get away from the campus. I feel like trying to get away, and going home frequently was a sign that I did not like it there.
For me when I am looking for a college CCBC matches pretty well with that I am looking for. I like that there are 70,000 students, but there are only maybe 30 students in each of my classes. I like this because I know a lot of people but I haven’t met or even seen every student that attends CCBC. Also, not everyone at CCBC can recognize me. Yes, people that I went to high school or maybe middle school might recognize me, but people that I have never met arent going to be able to point me about. I also like that I don’t live on campus. For many people, living on campus is wonderful but for me, I like to go to campus when I want to be there and leave when I don’t want to be there. As a freshman at most big schools you are not allowed to have your car on campus. To me that was very stressful because I always had to wait for someone to come get me or take me somewhere.
I also want to look at the program I am going to a specific school for. My major is sports management, so when I go to a schools website I look at the previous internships and where there alumni are in the job world. For me seeing a professional or widely known company or organization makes that program or school more reputable. I do not want to go to a school and be the first person that wants to be in the program and take it in a different direction.
I feel like this conversation really opened the eyes of the twelve tenth graders that visited on Friday. It sparked a few more questions, and I feel like it really opened the group up to be able to ask me questions during the tour and when I had other one on one experiences with the group.
Now that I am 11 credits away from completing my General Studies Degree at CCBC, I am starting to look at four year schools again. I feel like attending McDaniel and CCBC gives me two different prospectives in school types. So as I am visiting schools I know what to look for and I will be able to point out what I will really like about a school. I have found that many students at CCBC are looking to transfer in the fall. If you are one of those, What are you going to be looking for in your future school?