Leah Simpson ‘15 – During the spring of senior year, seniors have an extremely hard time picking the right college to go to. Location, programs, admission rate, financial aid qualification, and school size come into play when deciding where to go. Mikayla Frick ‘15 is a prime example, in her own words explaining how she chose the school she is going to.

The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) is one of the best fashion schools in the country. I went and visited twice in the summer and met with the soccer coach and counselors there. When I was there I felt welcomed and it was a good feeling talking with the staff. They advised me that even though I was a great student with many wonderful accomplishments on my application, I was still one of a million people and it was going to be extremely hard to get in. I worked various days after school with Mrs. Kowalke on a perfected essay to greater my chances on getting accepted. I wouldn’t know until April if I got in; for the time being I committed to Michigan State University (MSU) because I needed a back-up plan.

April came and my mom told me: “Don’t be upset. The letter came in, and I hate to tell you this, but you didn’t get in.” I knew it was going to be hard because there was a lot of tough competition and I didn’t have my hopes set on getting in. One week later, after being wait-listed, I got an email saying there was a special opportunity presented to me if I wanted to go to FIT: there was a spot for me, but I had to make this decision within the day. When I received this email I was beyond excited. When I talked to other people I was emotional, crying in front of them because my emotions were all over the place. At that point it hit me. It was real life, and I had to make that decision that day, in less than twelve hours.

Within that twelve hours I was pressured. My gut was telling me one thing and my mind was telling me another; I wanted to make the logical decision and not an emotional one. This is something I’ve always wanted, and now that I had it, my head was spinning and I wasn’t sure. I had the opportunity to play division 3 soccer at FIT and it would be a lot of fun practicing in Central Park or Brooklyn. Nina Garcia from project runway, Calvin Klein, and Net Lepore all graduated from there along with many other successful individuals. Could I see myself living there? Yes. Could I see myself going there? Yes. However the problem is you only hear of the various individuals who succeeded. What about everyone else, what happened to them? Going there I would be taking the risk. I could end up working at a Kohl’s or Macy’s, or I could end up a famous designer. Going there I wouldn’t be able to transfer any credits to any other schools, so I was taking the chance. It was something I wanted. But at the end of the year, if I knew studying fashion wasn’t what I wanted, that would be okay because it was an experience gained, but I was still weary about where are all the other not-famous students are. What are their accomplishments? Why don’t we hear about them today?

This was an opportunity of a lifetime, and I’m still not sure if I choose the right decision declining FIT. But I believe everything happens for a reason there maybe something better out there for me. My decision on MSU was a safe option: it offers a fashion program where i can study in New York my last year and it also offers me the ability to change majors if I want to, with the hundreds that they offer. Making the safe choice isnt always the best. It’s good to take risks to get out of your comfort zone. At MSU I hope to find myself and end up in a big city no matter what I do. I hope I made the right decision and won’t regret this later in life. I’m excited to see where my success at MSU takes me.

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