I went to a small, private high school in East Providence, Rhode Island, where I had countless tools and people who helped me and guided me through the college process. I am forever grateful for their support. Despite this, I could not seem to figure out what I wanted and what I didn’t want in a college. I had toured multiple schools and thought they were all fine, but I hadn’t had that “falling in love” feeling every high school senior talks about when they find their new home.

It was a rainy, cold day here in New London when I came for my first tour of Conn. I already had a negative attitude coming in. Driving all the way here in the rain wasn’t exactly fun. My mom struggled to decide whether she should turn around or not, not wanting the weather to affect my opinion of the school. But in the end the rain didn’t deter us. We made it and hopped right in on our tour with an interview to follow. The tour guide was extremely friendly and with there only being two other families on the tour I felt instantly comfortable asking questions about the Connections curriculum, housing, club sports and more. The tour guide answered them all with patience and curiosity, asking me additional questions about myself. I realized about halfway through the tour that for the first time I actually had questions and when I looked around at the students I found I could picture myself here. I didn’t have some dramatic “falling in love” moment that many talk about but more of a genuine, comfortable feeling of truly being able to picture myself on this campus surrounded by these people. After the tour, I had my interview. This was my very first college interview…ever. I held my resume in a manilla folder, something my college counselor instructed me to do, as the admission fellow asked me questions about myself. We discussed the classes I was taking, my strengths and weaknesses, and leadership positions I currently was holding. I nervously tapped the folder against my leg the entire time—something I didn’t realize I was doing until the very end of the interview. My stressed-out senior self thought this was a potential make-it or break-it factor. At the time, I believed I messed up the entire interview because of this small nervous tick.

From there I toured and interviewed at other schools becoming better now (of course) at interviewing. But I found myself constantly comparing these other schools to Conn. I couldn’t seem to get it out of my head. That was when I realized this was the only place I wanted to be. So, I went for it and applied Early Decision. I felt amazing getting the actual application process out of the way. However, as the notification date approached I became more and more anxious. I truly believed I wasn’t going to go to college at all if I didn’t get in here (dramatic, I know). On December 16, 2016, at 6:55 p.m. I sat alone in my room to log on to the portal to find out whether I was accepted or not, while my family anxiously waited downstairs for my reaction. At 7 p.m. on the dot, the page reloaded and congratulated me on my official acceptance as a Camel! I went screaming down the stairs to share the news. This was the best decision I have made so far for myself. Following that gut feeling paid off tremendously for me, and I have never looked back.