I remember starting my college search in high school. I recall specifically that I added the University of Dayton to my short list of potential schools based solely on the fact that I had heard of it and could recite a few vague facts about it. I also remember not even considering UD when I had narrowed my college choice down to five final picks.
However, pressed by my mother’s “You won’t know ‘till you try!” spirit, I gave the school one final chance and toured campus, three days before I had to tell the school if I would accept their admission offer. I remember my skepticism going into that day. I also remember that after a short walk around campus and a presentation – which thoroughly emphasized UD students’ preparedness for a career and full development of resumes before they even graduate – my mind was made up. Now I know; that presentation couldn’t have been more honest.
I can’t believe my eyes when I look at where I am now. At the risk of sounding like an arrogant fool, I’ve got a lot to be proud of. It’s my senior year. I have almost completed my studies for a bachelor’s degree in journalism and Spanish, a journey that has been incredibly rewarding for me due to the comfortable learning environment here.
Already, I have over three years experience at a semi-professional news publication, which is also the most visible organization on campus. I’ve had a completed, professional-grade resume for almost two years now, which I can only assume was partially responsible for my securing of the six or seven jobs and internships I’ve had since coming to UD. I have learned so much here, and most of it fell right into my lap without me having to even search for it.
That’s how this university works for us. It educates us, while simultaneously providing us with opportunities to apply our knowledge in real life situations. There’s so much to get involved in through the resources available at UD that you really have to put in effort if you don’t want to have any extra-curriculars, internships or jobs on your plate.
I mean, I get dozens of emails per week from communication professor Annette Taylor about potential internships and career opportunities. I didn’t sign up for them or ask her to email me, and I’m not really even close to graduation, yet I have a job opportunity relevant to my chosen career path placed before my very nose every single day. Do you know how hard it is for some graduates to find a job today? That’s why so many students graduate from this school ready and willing to jump into a new career. That’s why it’s such a great school.
It’s easy to get acclimated to your environment, especially when you’re planning to spend some four years of your life in the same location doing, essentially, the same thing. It’s not hard to imagine that many of us could fall prey to assuming such a great learning lifestyle and take our resources here for granted. But really and truly, we are lucky people to be here and have the resources we do. I’ve had many family members go to huge state schools or universities and feel more like an infinitesimal grain of sand than a valued student and member of a learning community; they’ve had to fight for everything a student should ideally have given to them, or simply accept less of it.
The real world opportunities we are so easily handed here, when packaged with our comfortable education, makes this school worthwhile. I may not have any idea what employer I’ll end up working for, but I have a plan, and have already started on my path to get there. I made a great decision that day I decided to come to the University of Dayton – we all did – and we shouldn’t ever forget that.