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Why I Chose Manhattan College

Four years ago, I held two letters in my hands that represented two very different life choices. One of those was from St. John’s University and the other was from Manhattan College. Considering that I’m writing for Her Campus at Manhattan College, I think we know how this story ends. I chose Manhattan for one very specific reason.

I do not consider myself a devout Catholic, but I think of myself as a Catholic nevertheless. Faith is something that is there for me when I have little else to turn to. Manhattan inspires my faith everyday for one very particular reason. As I sat in the chapel half-asleep, President O’Donnell woke me up out of my stupor during an Accepted Students’ Day in the Spring of 2012. He talked about something I had wondered all morning after seeing it everywhere.

The Manhattan logo is comprised of an M, a date, and a star. The M is obvious, no? The date I assumed as the founding year of the college, but the star had me playing a guessing game. Was this a school with a big astronomy department? Wait, no it’s an engineering school. What was this star about?

President O’Donnell addressed the elusive meaning of this enigmatic star. It is part of the LaSallian logo for “Signum Fidei,” or sign of faith. I do not know if this next part is how my brain chose to remember it or how it actually happened, but, clear as day, I can still see President O’Donnell saying the following: “Every time we see this marker around our campus, every time we think of Manhattan College, we remember that this is a sign of our faith.” Um… Mr. President, sir, faith in what exactly?

Personally, I found that through the years that object of faith shifted meaning. At first, it meant a sign of faith in myself for making it to college. During my sophomore and junior years, it became a sign of faith directly in God’s decisions for my life (good and bad). Finally, my senior year, every time I walk by a Manhattan logo I see a sign of faith in my hopes and dreams. I am reminded to make the sort of choices that will empower me today and tomorrow. Today I am a college senior, but tomorrow I aspire to be a lawyer.

Undoubtedly, as times goes on, the LaSallian star will continue to hold different sentiment for me. That is precisely what makes Manhattan College so special to me. It is a sign of faith that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

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