Why was it a process?
Prior to attending college I was extremely indecisive and any topic associated with the nagging word future was not welcomed in my daily thought process. Don’t get me wrong, throughout high school I was very ambitious and had multiple goals; however, one would probably consider unrealistic daydreams of a free-spirited teenager to be a more accurate definition, since they ranged from: studying fashion on the east coast, to opening a smoothie shop on some beach in Hawaii. Let me tell you, my parents were THRILLED when they heard about these highly successful options and were more than willing to support the “Help Mycah Find Herself Foundation”. However, in reality this was definitely not the case and instead they encouraged me to broaden my horizons towards a more promising job market; and sadly the vocational title of “beach bum” did not meet these qualifications.
A month before starting my senior year of high school, I took my parents words of wisdom to heart and realized these actions of avoidance had to be stopped. Growing up is just a part of being human and refusing to embrace this concept takes away from the pure joy found in living. After much consideration and prayer, I decided that attending college would be a part of my future plans, but only under two conditions: this school of choice had to be out of state and I wanted to be a two-sport athlete. Following this realization, I created a personal deadline for myself (which I recommend for all indecisive people), because without a structured agenda I knew I would never decide—however, procrastination also has a way of grabbing hold of you and ruining good intentions; so avoid feeling bad if things don’t go as planned. :) Quickly out of time and bankrupting my parent’s patience I compromised to visit Dordt; at least this provided me with a perfect opportunity to visit my older sister who was currently a sophomore.
Why I visited Dordt?
Even though no other colleges were on my radar, my attitude towards visiting Dordt College was definitely not positive and I was very reluctant to actually follow through with my plans. Fact: I loved the city and did not want to move to the middle of nowhere. However, there was a reason my older sister loved it so much and I was determined to figure that out for myself. As a result, during the weeks leading up to my first college expedition, I was in frequent contact with Dordt coaches and my area admissions counselor; receiving details and information concerning my upcoming campus tour. Aside from my sister’s positive experience at Dordt, I can honestly say the friendly and open conversations I had with these individuals were my initial draw to this school. They provided me with so much encouragement and support; as well as, a complete understanding of the stressful situation I was in. My visit day eventually arrived and therefore commenced the 12-hour drive; which I was more than dreading. State lines quickly passed by and I soon found myself standing next to my luggage on Dordt’s campus, right in front of the clock tower. What happened next I can’t fully transcribe into words, but I all I knew is that I had found the school I was destined to attend and it was located in Sioux Center, IA. (I realize this sentence seems like just a made-up line to persuade all you potential Dordt students that this campus is like walking into Disney World, but just hear me out). :)
Why I chose Dordt?
My visit consisted of hanging out with people who barely knew me, but continuously reached out and made me feel more than welcomed. I met with professors who took time out of their busy schedule to converse about potential majors and expressed a deep interest in helping develop a plan to accomplish my dreams. I was also able to practice with the basketball team and after participating in a few drills I felt positive, competitive chemistry between each player; as well as, an opportunity for growth and development as an athlete. Overall I felt like I was a part of a family and I had only been on campus for a little less than 48 hours. All along I had been wrong about my attitudes towards Dordt and admitting this to my family and friends was not going to be easy. This whole new chapter of life had taken me by complete surprise and what’s even crazier, I actually ended up signing with Dordt College that weekend.
Dordt is just like any other school if exclusively viewed from the perspective of earning a degree and attaining status in society; however, if the people who define every aspect of this institution are taken into account this bland viewpoint is transformed. What makes Dordt unique and so absolutely amazing is the community on and off campus. The support I experienced from my admissions counselor and coaches before visiting, is applicable throughout all of Sioux Center. Over the years, I have developed a deep appreciation for everybody involved in and apart of the Dordt community. Not many college students can say they have the opportunity to go off campus for Sunday dinner at a local home; or have professors who actually know you by name and the accountability that coincides with this. The people surrounding and constantly uplifting the students at Dordt College is unbelievable, because they genuinely care and want what is best for each individual. Another perfect example of this community, is that seniority doesn’t hold prevalence at Dordt. Seniors and freshman interact with each other on a daily basis and develop lifelong friendships that would be unheard of on other campuses. Like Annie mentioned in her post Appreciating Home Anew, But Not Alone, one of her friends happened to be a senior and as a freshman she spent countless Sunday afternoons in Kuyper apartments. Fact: Anybody can attend classes and complete majors; however, it’s the relationships developed and memories ingrained that fulfill dreams throughout this eventful journey.
Choosing a college was one of the hardest decisions I have ever encountered in my 21 years of life, and I completely understand what you high school seniors are dealing with. Dordt may seem far away and surrounded by corn, but I promise you, if I thrived you can too. I invite you to be open minded, think outside “your box of dreams”, appreciate your parents support, and establish a plan. There is something so incredibly special about Sioux Center, it just requires extra effort to discover. Come visit us and give this place a chance, you won’t be disappointed!
Hope to see you here soon, thanks for sticking with me through this long blog. :)