December 2013
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From Cali to Maryland: A Cinderella Story

Beautiful beaches, cute boys, sunshine 24/7…isn’t that what California is all about? Palm trees everywhere you go, surf and sand. California is a dream, right? So the first question I get from everyone when they find out that I am from the Golden State is why on Earth would you ever leave California, one of the most awesome places ever, to come live in Westminster, Maryland and go to a college of which no one has heard (at least not on the west coast)? My answer is simple. McDaniel is home. It is everything I want in a college.

Two simple factors went into my decision for college: size and personality. I knew that I did not want to be a face in a crowd. I had gone to small schools all my life. My high school’s graduating class had 89 people in it. Having come from this type of environment, I knew what it was like to have personal relationships with all of my teachers. Some of them were and are still the best friends and mentors I have ever had. Thus, when choosing a college, I knew small was my best bet. McDaniel is the perfect size for me. I know all of my professors and the names of the other students in my classes. I have had so many opportunities because I have relationships with faculty members who have seen qualities in me that led them to suggest competitions, scholarships, and other fabulous opportunities that catered to my personal strengths. If I had gone to a large university, I may not have known these things or had the ability to really get to know my professors like I do. I think McDaniel is wonderful because you really do get the individualized attention that will allow you to succeed inside and outside the classroom.

At first, I wasn’t going to visit any of the colleges that I applied to as they were all so far away from California. Fortunately, I did, and it made all the difference. When I visited McDaniel, I felt at home on campus. Being on the Hill is beautiful. I visited on a warm spring day, but I have since then learned to appreciate the snow as well. FALL IS AMAZING! Who knew that nature had all of those colors just waiting to show themselves?  Anyway, it was not the campus that sold me, but the beauty of the people on campus. I met with another girl from California who told me that I was not going die of frostbite like I thought which of course was a plus. However, the most important experience I had was sitting in on a Spanish class. I loved it! The teacher was fine with me participating in the class, and the people in the class were very welcoming! After class, one of the guys saw me again, and we had a great conversation. I also had a fantastic tour with another perspective student and his father as well. The best part was the fact that these moments were not just from people trying to impress me with their school. People at McDaniel really do care! That is what amazes me so much. All of those people I met on one random day are now my friends or acquaintances. These people were not faking being nice, but they really are just great people: McDaniel is full of wonderful people. To me, the people are more important than anything because they are the ones who support you through your college experience.

That is why I came all the way from the magical land of Cali to the beautiful oasis of McDaniel College. While they do not have In-N-Out Burgers or See’s Candy, McDaniel has something so much more: a wonderful college experience. I am about to start my second half of my sophomore year as a Spanish major and education minor. There are no regrets in my choice of McDaniel as my home away from home.

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