Why I Chose Michigan State University

National decision day, May 1st, is right around the corner and the pressure is on. Seniors, I remember the stress like it was yesterday – this decision is no small task but you can do it, promise. In honor of this monumental day I thought I’d share how the most indecisive girl made the biggest {and best} decision of her life.

Like I mentioned above – I’m more indecisive than I’d like to admit, so when the time came for the biggest decision of my life, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I didn’t grow up “bleeding green” as some Spartans do. My parents are not alumni, they both grew up in Ohio so they were unfamiliar with Michigan schools and knew nothing about MSU. I’m the oldest child in our family so there was no big sibling to figure it all out before me, the whole process of the college search was new for us. Although I enjoyed my time in high school, when it was time to graduate I was so extremely ready to embark on a whole new independent “grown up” life. I had always been a city-lover so I had my heart set on a small school in Chicago. I had this daydream in my head of a “grown up city life” while also earning my degree. I visited the campus multiple times, I stayed overnight and tried to really see myself there. I wanted so badly to see myself there because it’s what I thought I always wanted. It just didn’t feel like college…that stereotypical “best four years of your life” type of place. While being on campus you couldn’t tell what life was like there. No one was walking around wearing their spirit gear with pride, no one was laying out studying on the lawn, there was no football or basketball teams to cheer on…I just didn’t ever see myself not doing those things. I left thinking “did I love the school or did I love the city?” and I knew deep down it was the latter. I wanted four years of the “full college experience” and the city could wait – it would still be there when I finished. It was then I decided to return with a more open mind; it was time to broaden my search and pursue something totally different than what I saw in Chicago – Michigan State was bumped up on my list and it was time for a tour.

Of course, everyone is looking for different qualities in a University – ones that make it perfect for you. These are some of the reasons MSU stole my heart ( & kept it ) and why I knew it was the perfect place for me.

In no particular order.

The college town. I loved the fact that everything was in such close proximity to campus. The main street had numerous restaurants, stores, coffee shops and places to hangout all right in the same area. Student housing was located in the surrounding blocks, it was all students everywhere – a true college town. I didn’t realize how much I wanted to experience that until I saw it. Everyone hanging out on their porches, shopping around, getting a meal with their friends. There was ALWAYS something to do in walking distance and it looked so fun. After getting to enjoy it for almost two full years I can honestly say there is nothing quite like living in a college town, it’s even better than I expected.

The quality education. Aside from all of the fun parts of attending college, I was extremely drawn by Michigan State’s quality of education. There are so many distinguished professors teaching the courses and alumni that have gone on to become very successful. The student to faculty ratio at MSU is 17:1 which I thought was impressive for such a large university. Not only are there professors who instruct the courses, there are teaching assistants to help as well. A large lecture of 200+ students (taught by a professor) is paired with a small recitation class of around 20 students once a week taught by a graduate teaching assistant. I found this setup to be so beneficial because I could attend my lecture, take good notes, then really dive into the material in the smaller class and ask questions to get the help I needed.

The college of Communication Arts and Sciences. Most importantly the school offered what I wanted to study, and an amazing program at that. I came in as a freshman knowing that I wanted to study Communication – the major itself is quite broad with various career paths that attracted me. I could see myself being happy doing a lot of things within Communication and have come to love the courses and experiences within the major thus far.

Collaborative student body. The minute I stepped onto the campus, people were asking what I was interested in, what goals I had and what career I wanted to pursue. I had a fantastic meeting with a Communication advisor that gave me her full attention and interest in my academic success. Right away it just seemed like people cared about me as a potential student, more than other places I had visited. My fears of being treated as “just a number” at a school with 50,000 people wasn’t even a worry. I can attest to this even more now, students here have such a collaborative mindset. Spartans work together to achieve more, there is no competitiveness in the sense that others will not knock another Spartan down to better themselves. In all of my classes students are always forming study groups and creating collaborative online study guides with each other. I have honestly been so surprised at how truly friendly I have found my peers to be during my time at MSU, it’s very encouraging.

Resources. The amount of (FREE) resources on campus for student success was overwhelming in the best way possible. Of course, each college and major has very specific resources for their direct students, but something that is very broad are the tutoring centers. The large campus is split up into neighborhoods with engagement resource centers located in each. I personally am not the best at math so I spent many hours with the graduate students at the Math Learning Center preparing for exams and getting help with homework. Although the professors and teaching assistants in each class have office hours available to attend for help, the tutor center had a wider schedule and improved my scores immensely.

Campus. The overall look and feel of campus was just what you see in the movies. It is absolutely stunning at all times of the year, trees everywhere, beautiful buildings old and new, it just never gets old. Besides the aesthetically pleasing look, I am always finding places on campus that I have never seen before. After two years I still can find a place to study that I haven’t used before. Buildings that I haven’t stepped foot in, dining halls that I haven’t tried, classrooms I haven’t had classes in. It keeps campus feeling fresh and new all the time which I absolutely love.

The Big 10 pride. I remember taking my campus tour thinking to myself how cool it was that a vast majority of the people I passed by were wearing something Michigan State related. Everyone was so proud to be a Spartan which made me even more excited about potentially becoming one as well. The feeling of game day is electric and the Spartan bonding is real. There is nothing like a Big Ten sporting event and being a part of the student section is a feeling of pure pride.

Study Abroad opportunities. I always knew study abroad would be something I wanted  to participate in during my college career. Michigan State offered over 275 study abroad programs to more than 60 countries. Specifically I have found the perfect program for me – I will be completing 9 credits this summer on a six week program in Rome, Italy through the college of ComArtSci. All of the credits are going toward my Major and Minor requirement which is fantastic.

The size. Funny right? In my initial college search I always pushed large universities aside because I thought they were just plain too big. I was worried about finding my way around, the trek each day to class, if I would be treated as just a number, or if I would find friends – all of these thoughts kept me up at night. It really wasn’t until I stepped on campus for a tour that I realized how wrong I was. It felt like it’s own little city and I loved it. After almost two full years here I can say the large size of this school is one of my absolute favorite parts about attending Michigan State. It truly only works to your advantage, all of these fantastic opportunities and resources are right at your fingertips. Anything you could ever imagine getting involved with is right here – all you have to do is get out and go for it. Every single day (no exaggeration) I meet someone I’ve never met before. Every single day is an opportunity to make a new friend, make a new connection or try something you’ve never done and that is so exciting. There are so many incredible experiences I would have never had if this University wasn’t as big as it is. You make your friends, you find your groups, you settle in and suddenly it doesn’t seem like this big, daunting place. It feels like home. You can always make a big campus feel smaller, but you can never make a small campus feel bigger.

Sincerely, Sienna

(You can follow me on Instagram for more updates!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s