No it wasn’t the only school I got into. No I didn’t get rejected from my top in state choice. Yes, the Lord has a weird sense of humor.
A year ago today I made the decision to attend Florida State University. It’s a long story, but a good one. I had the hardest time deciding on what college I was going to go to. I was stressed beyond belief, but everything worked out. The best advice I could give anyone in their senior year of high school going through this decision now is to trust in the Lord and know that wherever you end up, you are supposed to be there and the Lord is going to do great things. My college decision was pretty much a trust fall with the Lord and I put my whole trust in him. I know it was his decision, not mine, for me to be at Florida State University because if it was mine there would be no way that I ended up where I am.
Florida State University was my absolute last choice on my list of colleges. I told myself there was no way I would attend Florida State. I got into other schools and even into my top in state choice (University of Florida). The story of how I got to FSU is pretty insane, and the only explanation is the Lord working in my life. Here’s my story:
I attended a 10 day government immersion program at Florida State University the summer before my senior year of high school. It was supposed to be great. I thought it would be perfect for me as someone who wants to run for a public office one day. Instead, it was 10 days of absolute hell.
We stayed in Smith Hall and if anyone knows anything about Florida State University it was the worst dorm they could have put us in. They are now tearing it down that hall because it was so bad. The rooms were musty, there was mold, weird creatures roamed the halls, and the random writings we found on the walls were horrifying. I don’t know how anyone could have lived there for a whole school year. Aside from the horrible dorm, all I saw of campus was Smith Hall, the worse of the two dining halls, and the worst auditorium on campus in the union (it had seats falling apart). When I said it was absolute hell the horrible conditions were not what I was referring to, instead I was referring to the fact that it was the middle of July in Northern Florida. It was hot, humid, and miserable. There was one day where it was 112 degrees and we got alerts on our phones warning us not to go outside because of the dangerous weather conditions, but our leaders made us walk across campus anyway. I overheat fairly easily and the fact that I didn’t overheat earlier in the week is a miracle, but once we got back to the dining hall for dinner that day I knew I had overheated. My heart rate was up, my face was hot, I felt dizzy, and I started crying without being able to control it. Of course that was right before I had to do my election speech for Governor and I would get waves where I couldn’t stop crying. I almost started crying in front of 150 girls. Long story short, the only thing that 10 day program taught me was that there was no way I would go to Florida State University no matter how much someone paid me. At least that’s what I thought.
The time for applications came around and I had to decide what colleges I wanted to apply to. I was doing the Early-Admission program at Florida Gulf Coast University so I had guaranteed admission, but University of Florida was my first choice for in state. The reason I even applied to FSU was because the application deadline for FSU was the earliest out of all the schools that I was looking at and I had not yet received my new ACT scores so I applied to FSU just in case I didn’t get into UF. When I got my new scores I regretted even applying to FSU and wasting the $30 for the application fee because I was practically guaranteed a spot at UF with my new score. I decided to even apply to some Ivy Leagues.
Before the application deadline for the Ivy Leagues, I was supposed to hear back from FSU. I knew I would get in so I just opened the portal, saw the “Congradulations” on top, scrolled far enough to see that they offered me a scholarship, and then closed the browser window and decided I would never need to look at that site again. I figured I would just stay at FGCU before I even considered going to FSU.
My two big schools that I applied to were Georgetown and Harvard. I only applied to Harvard for the heck of it but I really had my heart set on Georgetown, even though it’s technically not an Ivy League. I thought I had a pretty good chance of getting in because I was involved, had great test scores, tons of leadership positions, internships, and I did early-admission for a year. Georgetown also seemed like the perfect school for me: in Washington DC, Catholic, gorgeous campus, good political science program, and a high ranking school. I was supposed to hear back from both schools end of March/early April.
I heard back from UF in February and I wasn’t that excited to get in because I knew I would. UF became my safety school in case I did not get into Georgetown. I was glad I got in but checking my admissions portal was more of a formality than a nail biter. I just needed to make sure they denied me by some fluke. I decided that I should probably go visit the campus to see how I like it in case I have to go there. My family and I drove the 4 hours to Gainesville to attend one of their open house days. The trip started going downhill within the first 20 minutes that we were on the road when my dad got pulled over at 4am for going 78 miles an hour on I-75. When we got to UF I was a bit underwhelmed. I thought that there would be a grand entrance and you would feel like you were on a University’s campus like you do when you drive into FGCU. I did not like the campus nor did I feel welcome. On the open house we never got a campus tour. We sat in a room for 4 hours while they told us things we already knew about majors and the school. When the parents had their session to ask questions 9 times out of 10 the answer was “you can find that on our website or give us a call later”. The only thing I liked was the off campus housing we looked at. My mom told me to sign the lease since I will most likely go there, but I hesitated because I still wanted to hear what Georgetown had to say. We didn’t sign.
I felt stuck. I didn’t know what to do. I considered staying at FGCU but I wanted something more. I had a great time but I knew things would be very different the next year because most of my friends were going to different colleges. I still wasn’t considering FSU as an option, until everything just started falling into place.
The President of the College Republicans club at FGCU messaged me saying that the Speaker of the House Pro Tempore for the Florida House of Representatives was coming to speak with students at FGCU and he invited me to a private meeting with the Representative. I wasn’t very active with the College Republicans so I was surprised to get the invite, but I thought it might be interesting so I decided to mark it in my calendar.
I ended up getting scheduled to work that day during the time of the meeting and I preferred making $10 an hour at my hostess job that driving all the way to campus on my day off of school. The girl that I was supposed to be working with that day messaged me the night before that she has to do something in the morning and if I could take her morning shift and she’ll take my afternoon shift. I told her about the meeting and that I would take her shift if it could be possible for me to leave early to make it to the meeting. She said she asked the manager if I could leave early and she would have to work on her own for a little bit and the manager said yes.
Turns out she did not ask the manager and I almost got fired that day. Then when she came in it got really busy and I felt bad leaving her alone to deal with the rush. She kept telling me to go to the meeting so I finally left but it was so late and I figured I would miss the meeting. I still went to see if I could make it. I got to FGCU in record time and changed in the car. I was still late by about 15 minutes and I didn’t even know where the room was so I was about to give up, until I went into the building and saw people with pins that had the Representatives name for his State Senate campaign. I made it just in time.
I happened to ask him about FSU. I don’t know why FSU even came to my mind, I already had it crossed off of my list. I asked him about the internship opportunities there and whether it would give me more opportunities than FGCU. He couldn’t tell me enough about FSU. He also talked about the new entrepreneurship school, which was my minor at the time. It seemed pretty appealing. He then offered me an internship with him if I decided to attend Florida State.
I missed the on campus housing deadline and the honors deadline at UF so I figured I missed it at FSU too. I thought that there was no way it would work out for me to consider FSU now, it was too late. When I got out of the meeting I called FSU and asked them whether it was too late to apply for housing and the honors program. It wasn’t.
I started considering FSU again, but I remembered how much I hated the campus. My mom said that we should go tour but the whole month of March and April were crazy busy for me, the only day I could go to FSU was April 1, 2016. I called and turns out their next preview just happened to be April 1st.
During preview we did a campus tour. Turns out I never saw the absolutely gorgeous parts of campus when I was at Girl’s State. Florida State truly has a beautiful campus. My mom said she felt like she was in an American college movie when she walked through FSU. I had one friend going to FSU and that day I pulled an April Fools joke on him and said that there was no way I could go to FSU and I chose UF. Then I finally told him that FSU was my top in state choice and he was really happy.
The next day I got my letter from Georgetown. I got rejected. I was disappointed and then I started thinking about UF again. I really did like those apartments and maybe I could make it work. Then I remembered that earlier that day I got a missed call and I had a voicemail. Turns out it was from the girl who gave me a tour of the apartments at UF and she called me to tell me they ran out of the model I liked and the only ones they had left cost over $200 more a month.
I ended up getting into FSU Honors and their UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program). I knew I was meant to come to FSU. It wasn’t my choice, but it was God’s. I’m excited to see what he has in store for me during my time here. Trust in the Lord with your college decision, he will bring you to the right place.