It does not matter who you are or where you are from, choosing a college is a big decision.
Two years ago, I chose to attend Oxford College in fall 2012, without ever visiting the campus. As clichéd as it sounds, I knew it was the place for me.
I chose Oxford for a variety of reasons: I loved the small campus feel and how there were ample leadership positions for underclassmen; I loved the idea of a rigorous liberal arts curriculum; Most of all, I loved how there would be an ocean and most of the country between me and my parents, who were living in Hawaii at the time.
Do not get me wrong, I love my parents, but I understood college as the time to be independent, to figure out who I was in the world. I wanted to be an adult, whatever that meant.
I soon learned that the distance was not so great. No matter how old I get, I am always going to miss my family.
I was relieved when they moved back to Georgia my sophomore year.
It is no secret Oxford makes great leaders. Because the campus has only freshmen and sophomores, they have to step up to the plate and be campus leaders. Getting involved is the best way to make friends.
I soon found myself involved in the Americorps Bonner Leader Program, as president of Circle K, writing for the paper and committing myself to countless other projects. I took on so much that I almost forgot I still had classes to attend. For what it is worth, though, I loved every minute I invested in each of my extracurriculars, even if they necessitated some all-nighters.
The fact that Emory University is a liberal school appealed to me. Growing up in a military family, I was accustomed to a more conservative view of the world. There is nothing wrong with this, but I felt that as an international relations major who dreams of going into foreign affairs, I needed to gain a more liberal perspective to open my mind,
One of the things I am most proud of from my two years at Oxford was the opportunity to write for The Covington News.
While I did a few pieces my freshman year, this year, I was offered my own series, Oxford International.
Every week, I got to share the journey of an Oxford international student.
The students come from around the world, from places like Nigeria, China, Afghanistan, India, England and Argentina. Some of their passions ranged from advocating for human rights, ending racism, helping children to increasing mental health awareness. While each student had a very different story, all had a common goal: to make the world a better place.
It has been my honor to share these stories with you every week. I hope you were inspired by these students as much as I was.
The purpose of the series was not only to share these amazing stories, but also to make you, the readers, more aware of the world.