I Didn't Go to My Dream College & I Couldn't Be Happier with My Decision

6:00:00 PM

I don't know about you, but I fell in love with the first school that I visited. Between the beautiful Spanish moss and the gorgeous school buildings, I had my heart set on attending Rollins College. 

Once I made my decision, I sent in my application and made sure to check the box for an early decision. I didn't want to get ahead of myself, so I made sure to apply to four other local schools. However, I had received the Bright Futures Scholarship which limited me to the colleges and universities in Florida. 

After a couple weeks, I had sent in my applications to five schools and visited two of them. Rollins College and Flagler College where my top two choices. After those, I didn't really care about the order of Stetson University, Florida State University, or Florida Golf Coast University. So much so, that I didn't even visit them. 

I was constantly checking my application statuses online. Acceptance letters started rolling in, but I really only cared about one: Rollins College. As soon as I saw the big envelope in the mailbox, I ripped it opened and started freaking out! It was right there, on paper - I had been accepted. 

The first thing I did was call my boyfriend, now husband, and then I started jumping around the house. I immediately notified my parents and then started the paperwork. There wasn't any question about it, I was going to go to Rollins. Not only that, but I'd be the first person in my family to go to college in the first place. 

That was... until my grandma got sick. My family didn't have much, so I was already asking a lot for them to help me with school. However, when my grandma got sick, my mom had to take time off from work. Shortly after she passed, my mother lost her job. We were down to one income and I had to face the facts. 

I had to do the hardest thing I had ever done in my life (at that point). I sent an email to my guidance counselor and let her know that I had to back out of my acceptance. Too bad I had already sent them $700. The guidance counselor was very understanding, but I kind of wish she hadn't been. She continued to ask if there was anything that she could do to help, and she let me know that I can email her if anything changes. Which of course it wouldn't. 

Since everything happened so quickly and unexpectedly, I had missed my chance to accept the offers at any of the other four schools. I had to think fast. 

I was talking to my friends in my high school yearbook class, when one of the editors-in-chief mentioned the University of North Florida. To be honest, I didn't even know it existed. She knew that I was looking for a small school and it fit all of my requirements. It was late April and I submitted my last two applications: Florida Atlantic University and University of North Florida. 

I honestly figured that if I was accepted, I would receive a letter saying that I could start in Spring. So, I was more than surprised when Florida Atlantic University accepted me for the upcoming Fall term. A few days later, I received my acceptance letter to the University of North Florida ALSO for their Fall term! I had a big decision to make, but ultimately it came down to money. UNF was cheaper, so I accepted and began the financial aid process. I didn't actually know I was able to afford UNF, until two days before I was supposed to move in. From that moment on, I ran around like a chicken with it's ha

Looking back, I do wish things had gone a little differently. Mostly, I just wish that I had applied to UNF the first time around. Had I done that, I probably would have earned more scholarships and I wouldn't have had to fight so much with the financial aid department. I was on three scholarships, two loans, work study, and I was still paying out of pocket. It's still nothing though compared to the financial problem I would have had, had I still gone to Rollins. 

In the end, I'm incredibly happy with my decision. I definitely have less debt than most, especially since I didn't go to a large university or private college. I was only four hours away from my boyfriend, now husband, making monthly visits way easier! I also made so many long lasting friendships! I found my church, my group of friends, and even one of my bridesmaids. I will never regret not going to my dream college. 

Where did you or will you go to college? Tell me in the comments!

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  1. I fell in love with the first school i visited too. I'm so glad it didn't work out because MSU Mankato welcomed me with open arms!

    1. It's so awesome to hear that I'm not the only one! I'm glad that you found a school that welcomed you with open arms ☺️