After a Year of Finding My Way, I Chose Bentley..
Senior year was a whirlwind, and before I knew it, I was applying to schools where I would spend the next four (and, in my opinion, the most pivotal) years of my young life. Playing field hockey throughout high school, I knew that sport was something that I wanted to pursue in college.
Bentley was number one for me, ever since my junior year in high school, and everything from the campus to the athletic program to the prospect of graduating with a Bentley business degree was appealing. Money, as it is for most families in these difficult economic times, is very tight in the Gerry household and my parents were relying on me to get academic and athletic scholarships. The school that I decided to attend after months of indecision and uncertainty offered me these things, and it was a tough decision not to choose Bentley after all.
I went to Roanoke College, which is situated down in the blue hills of the Shenandoah valley in southern Virginia. Undoubtedly, the school was gorgeous and so were the views; even the students, too.
That’s what I came to realize… Roanoke was all about the façade of beauty and what others perceived of you. As much as I enjoyed playing collegiate field hockey, meeting new people, and learning to do things for myself, I quickly learned that all of it didn’t matter. Roanoke was small, stuffy and, at times, extremely overwhelming. It lacked structure, a work-life balance, as well as classes and programs that truly challenged me. I was isolated from my home and family, and felt trapped in a world that was much like high school, all over again.
Greek life is an integral part of Roanoke’s culture and I felt that I needed to become a part of it in order to fit in. Second semester, rushing for Delta Gamma was Roanoke’s saving grace. But when my field hockey coach quit, I realized that this was my opportunity to seek bigger and better things beyond the Roanoke bubble.
So, I quickly and assertively applied again to Bentley and was accepted during finals week; two days before I was to go home. Southern schools get out rather early, and in my case, we got out April 23. It became a dilemma because I was invested in my sorority and new group of friends. I felt a sense of belonging yet I still felt trapped. Classes were boring simply because they were too easy and the major I chose was not what I truly wanted to pursue. After all, what was I going to do with a Political Science degree?
The choice became obvious. As much as I loved my sisters, I had to do what was best for me and transfer to Bentley. The transfer process was a strenuous one and I did everything by myself, from forms to paperwork to applications and pursuing recommendations from professors. I was ready to move on somewhere that I believed challenged me academically as well as offered me the level of competition that could challenge me physically, within a Division II field hockey team.
When I finally arrived on Bentley’s campus last August, I knew that I had made the right choice. The campus was breathtaking and the entire view from my window overlooked Waltham and beyond. No longer did I see Roanoke valley, but the Boston skyline, instead. It felt so good to be home, again.
Bentley made me feel exactly that – at home. I started a routine with classes and field hockey practice and games, while making new and lasting friendships, along the way. I chose Bentley because I wanted a challenge, but also a sense of belonging; something that I felt was missing at Roanoke College.
Transferring to Bentley University was the best decision for me, and I couldn’t be happier because I feel that I am making a mark in the classroom and at the school as a whole. After a year of finding my way and figuring out just what I wanted, I realized that Bentley was the best place for me.