Choosing the College for You: Why UCI?
Whenever I talk to potential incoming freshmen and their parents, I’m always asked: “Why did you choose UCI over all the other schools that you may have applied to?” I usually start off by joking that it was the only one that would take me. You know, something funny to make light of a serious life decision. I then admit that wasn’t the case. I got accepted to about nine of the sixteen schools I applied to during my senior year. With only a slightly-above-average GPA, average test scores, a decent amount of AP courses under my belt, and being pretty involved in high school, I considered myself lucky. Honestly, I have very little knowledge of how college admissions really work because I’ve seen so many of my friends who were better or worse than me in a lot of those factors be denied or accepted to competitive schools. Most would have even told you that they were surprised to be accepted at some of the most prestigious schools in the country, like Stanford or Brown. Others wondered why they got into UC Berkeley, but not UCLA, or vice versa.
I, like them saw acceptances and denials, wondering, “Why?” During that time I was also surveying my options. Most of the schools I had applied and been accepted to offered me the major I wanted: Criminology or Criminal Justice. One school, the number one school for that major in the country, UCI, was my number one choice, though. However, I wasn’t accepted right away. I was waitlisted. So I made plans to go to another university on the East Coast.
It wasn’t what I really wanted. I wanted to be closer to home, stay in-state so I could be closer to family. On top of that, three of my closest friends were going to UCI. Several weeks after I had signed my SIR I received an email from UCI that stated that I was off the waitlist and formally accepted to the university. Within minutes I had canceled my SIR and registered to go to UCI.
Living about an hour away from my family, studying my favorite subject, at the university that is #1 in the world for it, and topping it off with three of my best friends was more than I could have hoped for. I have never regretted my choice because this place became a second home where I found a culture of tight knit students that support each other and where opportunities can be found just around every corner.