It’s about the time of the year when the sun comes out, flowers begin to grow and prospective students begin to overrun the campus day in and day out. Their overall confusion and lack of direction can be quite entertaining to the regular student. I at least feel entertained by this because it reminds me that I’m only a year past that same situation.
When I decided to come here it was not an automatic decision, regardless of how much it should have been in hindsight. I’m sure if you’re a prospective student you’ve made at least one visit to Case to check out what you might be getting yourself into. Personally it took me more along the lines of three visits, maybe even four (At the age of 19 I’m getting old, my memory just isn’t what it used to be!). Two (or three) of those visits occurred before I was even admitted. Aside from just being proactive (I have my parents to thank for that) I really wanted to see if Case was the right fit for me.
Just like you, I got here and was immediately confused and a little overwhelmed. I think every single time I visited, the Cheese Club was mentioned 4 or 5 times. If you’re a current freshman at Case, you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. I’m not sure if this is still in the recruitment strategy for admissions, but if it is you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. But Case does have a point with this; I mean it when I say there is an organization or club for every single type of person here at Case. If there is someone that contradicts this, I would like to meet them!
Personally, I feel like an expert when it comes to Case admission presentations; I first came only with my dad, then only with my mom, and of course we had to do one more presentation all together. The idea that Case has an open door admission policy is very true. If this terminology is new to you, in summary, once you’re admitted to Case, you are admitted to the School of Engineering, School of Arts and Sciences, School of Nursing and School of Management. I can testify to say that students here do take advantage of this because one of my better friends at Case (also a freshman) is currently working towards a BME/Acting double major. Yes, this is possible.
Looking back at my open house experiences, I can’t really think of much admissions said or promised that didn’t come true after coming here. I really like that I got just what I was expecting. All I can think of for you as the reader is if you heard something at an open house and want reassurance that its everything they say it is, then leave me a comment, I will get back to you right away. Also if there is anything about Case that you didn’t hear that you want to know, I will also answer those questions. You should leave no question unasked before making your decision for college; because if you haven’t figured it out by now, it’s an important one.
A lot of my friends, who are seniors in high school, have just finished applying to colleges and universities throughout the nation. However, during the few months before the application deadline, a lot of them came to me for advice about choosing their majors. Most of them were worried about this decision that they perceived would determine their future. I told them to think about what they like to do the most… they didn’t have a clue. Still wanting to help them, I told them how I decided to become a nursing major.
Originally I wanted to become a doctor. Whenever someone would get sick I would always ask the question why. Why did we sweat when we had a fever? Why were we encouraged to gurgle salt water when we had a sore throat? During my sophomore year in high school, a lot of these questions were answered in AP Biology class. This course got me hooked onto the idea that, after college and med school, I could be out there helping friends, family, and patients become healthier individuals.
Then my mom became a nurse. She would come home and tell me about all these interesting things she saw during her clinicals and how much she loved the profession. I, being open-minded, decided to experience just exactly what she was raving about. Over the summer of junior year, I applied for a volunteer position at a local hospital. I shared my purpose with the volunteer coordinator and was assigned to work in the Emergency Room twice a week. To be honest, all I did in the ER was read my English book so I could get a head start on the assigned pages. I didn’t really get to see what nurses did as the ER was extremely fast-paced and the rooms were closed when the nurses were interacting with patients. Nonetheless, I decided to become a nurse during the first semester of senior year.
I applied to Case, got in, and came here because of its unique nursing program (the clinical experience at Case starts freshmen year, whereas other schools' start junior year). I wanted to make sure that, if I didn’t want to become a nursing major, I would know right away so I could switch majors as soon as possible. At first nursing was okay. I didn’t fall in love with it as much as my mother did, but I didn’t hate it. I did despise waking up at 5:55AM for clinical, but once I was in the hospital, time easily passed by (a good sign). I still wasn’t completely convinced I wanted to be a nurse… I was really just biding my time and hoping for something that would push me over the top.
That push came one Thursday morning during lab. My lab instructor was talking about how nursing helps you overcome your fears of public speaking, fears of doing things you never thought you could do before. With those few words, I realized that this was everything I wanted from a profession. I realized that nursing was what I wanted to do all along. And with this realization, I learned that I really didn't have that much information to go off of when I checked that box under the list of majors when I was applying here. Frankly, my intention of pleasing my mother outweighed the confidence that nursing was the major for me. And yet, I did it without knowing what would happen when I actually started learning and experiencing nursing. People are scared when they apply to college. A lot don't know what they want to dedicate their lives to, and that's perfectly natural. It was in class, halfway through the school year, on a Thursday morning after a tough week that I got the confirmation I needed.
What I’m trying to say is that it’s perfectly okay to not know what you want to do when you’re applying to college. Why else would colleges make “undecided” a choice for a major. Sure you’ll meet plenty of people who tell you what major they are and what they want to do in their future, but the chances of them changing their majors in the next week, month, year are extremely high. The funny thing is, there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s perfectly normal! There are so many opportunities (frats, events, organizations, classes, faculty, peers, etc.) that you have access to that will help open your eyes and let you determine where your interests lie.
I was the lucky case (haha.. case… CWRU.. okay never mind). I had a rough idea of what I wanted to do, and my inkling was confirmed relatively early on in the year. But, hey, you never know. Next thing you know, I might be blogging about how I got struck by lightening and decided to become a European literature major (god forbid… I despise English). If you leave with anything from reading this absurdly long post today, just know that 1) it’s okay to not know what you’re going to major in and 2) you never know when that moment will hit you