Categorized | Senior Editorials, Viewpoints

Community and Independent Study

Working in The College of Wooster Admissions Office over the past four years, I’ve faced the same question hundreds of times (or at least it feels like hundreds of times): “Why did you choose The College of Wooster?” And I’ve developed a standard answer: “Two reasons: Independent Study and the sense of community I felt on campus.”

As graduation approaches all too quickly, I’ve started to reflect on those decision-making factors. Did I base my decision on the right reasons? Has what I saw in The College of Wooster just a few short years ago held up to everything it seemed to promise when I was a just a nervous high school senior trying to make my college choice? Looking back, there’s no doubt about it: Wooster has been everything it promised and more.

While the Independent Study process was often grueling, nerve-wracking and challenging, a few weeks of rest and reflection have helped me to see that it was also one of the most valuable experiences of my college career. In addition to helping me become a better writer, critical thinker and time manager, I.S. has helped me to understand how much I truly had learned during my academic career here at Wooster. After four years of demanding courses and hard work, I could actually pull this type of project off, and I could be proud of what I had accomplished.

As a senior looking for a full-time job, finishing my I.S. gave me a much needed confidence boost. I can go into a potential employer’s office, show off this piece of work, and discuss the numerous skills I put to use in order to complete it. Four years ago, as a high school senior, I.S.† promised to distinguish me from other liberal arts graduates. Will it do that? Check.

Next, I don’t think anyone can disagree that The College of Wooster is more than just a campus -ó it’s a community. While some might think that requiring students to live on campus all four years is a negative trait, I’ve discovered that this situation is one of the best parts of Wooster. Because all students live on campus for all four years of study, everyone is so much more invested in their experience here. This is where everyone lives, studies and works, and I think we’re more connected because of it. Has Wooster been the supportive, challenging and yes, fun-filled, campus community it promised to be when I was just a high school senior? Check.

So, as I talk to prospective students throughout my short remaining time here at Wooster, I can truly say that what I saw in The College of Wooster just four short years ago has lived up to my expectations and more. Thank you to The College of Wooster for keeping up your end of the bargain. Now I hope to keep up mine, by becoming an alum that will make Wooster proud. I’ll get to work on that straight away.

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