I've posted before about why I AM here, but a while ago, I promised I would describe a bit more about the whole decision process. Here's how it went:
I've known about Calvin all my life, but there was no family pressure to go here. When I started to think about choosing a college in my junior year, I wanted to give every school a chance. I read every brochure that came to my door and started a lengthy spreadsheet of all the places that interested me. The overwhelming list had to be narrowed down somehow and I decided that I wanted to stay within a few hours drive of home (West Michigan). I ended up applying to four places:
- Calvin - because my friend and her older sister convinced me to.
- Hope - because it's similar to Calvin.
- Grand Valley State University - because that's where everyone from my high school went.
- Hillsdale - because my dad told me I should.
I quickly ruled out #4 and eventually ruled out #3. Neither place was a good fit. Then it became one of the toughest decisions I had made yet: Hope or Calvin? At first, I was leaning towards Hope. I was enamored with the atmosphere there and Fridays at Calvin had left a bad impression on me. It wasn't until I came back for a music audition in February that I started to change my mind. The snow-covered campus seemed friendly and the people I interacted with at the audition showed interest in me even though I wasn't a talented musician – a contrast from the same audition at Hope.
I still wasn't convinced, though. I kept being wishy-washy up until the week before deposits were due. That week, I accepted my uncle's invitation to give me a personal tour of Hope's campus, meet with a professor in the science department, and tell me about life there from his perspective as a professor and a father of a student. As he objectively described the key differences between Hope and Calvin, it started to become clear that Calvin was the right choice for me. Ultimately, I was looking for a school that would challenge me academically as well as spiritually and it appeared that only Calvin could give me the balance I wanted. I sent in my deposit the next day and became a Knight!