Happiness is key factor in college selection

Published 10:18 am Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Happy Medium by Erin Murtaugh

A while back, I wrote a column about embracing the cold weather. I also talked about the idea of going somewhere warmer if you don’t like the cold.

Guess what? That’s what I’m doing.

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Last week, I flew out to Arizona to visit Arizona State University. It is one of the three schools I applied and was accepted to.

After being accepted, I decided I should go take a look at the campus. I was accepted into the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, and their photography and art education programs are great.

When I visited Columbia College Chicago in the fall, I thought that was the ideal college for me. Then I realized, there weren’t as many opportunities for me there as there are in Arizona. ASU has many, many more options for majors. I wouldn’t want to miss the chance to go to college football games and other student activities that wouldn’t happen at Columbia.

One of the neatest things about ASU is that it is a residential college. Students are placed in housing by their majors. That being said, I will live in a community of other Herberger students.

Being with people who are interested in the same thing as you is a big plus for me. The area I will live in, Arcadia, has an outdoor volleyball court, study space, studio space and plenty of space to just enjoy being outside.

Living with only Herberger students doesn’t give me the chance to meet students of other majors in the same dorms, but, of course, there are other chances to meet more people through clubs and other classes.

The main thing I learned from visiting is this: Wherever you go, make sure it makes you happy.

I saw a lot of cool things that could be great in Chicago, but I was genuinely happy in Arizona. Year-round sunshine, an amazing campus and great programs definitely helped me choose Arizona. I could not be more excited to go down and start my life there. Go, Sun Devils.


Albert Lea resident Erin Murtaugh is a senior at Albert Lea High School. She can be reached at murtaugh.erin@gmail.com.