I Got Dumped... By My College

I cannot put into words how much I loved school—the classes, the people, the campus, all of it. I also cannot articulate how hard it was for me to leave. I was a freshman at Mount Ida College in Newton, MA, studying Fashion Industry Marketing and Management last year. Not many people knew about my school, since it was relatively small, but the name became widely familiar after it announced its plans to close after the Spring 2018 semester.

I remember I received the news while I was on a field trip. As we boarded the bus, we noticed a suspicious email that was sent out to the entire school. It read:

“Today, our Board of Trustees has announced that Mount Ida College has reached an agreement with the University of Massachusetts, under which UMass Amherst will acquire our Newton campus. While this will mean that Mount Ida will end its role as an independent college, students in good academic standing will be offered automatic acceptance to UMass Dartmouth, a Tier 1 national research university.”

I, being the person that I am, took it as a joke. I forwarded the message to my friends (many of whom go to UMass Amherst), trying to get a laugh out of everyone. I continued to laugh, until it hit me. My college was shutting down, and all the work I did to make a name for myself was completely worthless.  Though UMass offered automatic acceptance, they were not looking to continue any of the specialized programs that made up most of the Mount Ida student population, such as Fashion, Dental Hygiene, Funeral Services, or Veterinary Tech.

Arriving back on campus, I found the school in turmoil. It was like something out of a movie, the state of chaos it was in; students and staff crying spontaneously, people destroying property, and the heavy feeling of depression weighing down on everyone. Police cars were everywhere, and news vans tried to sneak onto campus to try to figure out how this all happened. I didn’t think it could get worse, until the president came to speak.

Barry Brown, the school’s president, along with the Board of Trustees made an appearance to address the situation and answer questions. The entire school attended and bared their hearts on their sleeves, but little was given in return. No clear answers were given, and the blame was divided between the competitive climate for small colleges and the student body (our scholarships that were awarded by the school were too high, driving the school into bankruptcy). Bottom line was that we were in seventy-million dollars worth of debt, and we had a month to relocate.  

At eighteen-years-old, I thought I had my life figured out. I did everything I could to make the best out of my college experience. Though the experience was ridiculously heart wrenching, it taught me that you can never be too sure of your future. There was nothing that I, or anyone, could do to bring it back; we had to move on and learn from the experience. You can never be sure about tomorrow, but you can be sure about today. I don’t regret the work I did during my time at Mount Ida, and I am happy I didn’t wait to prove myself because it would have never happened.