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Back in the Fall of 2018, I was confused and stressed. I had begun applying to colleges, and unlike a lot of my friends, I didn’t exactly have a frontrunner, a top college that I was dying to go to. I was applying to schools that I thought looked interesting, but I didn’t have a huge preference. I was jealous of my friends that had always had a dream school in mind, whether it be because their parents went there or they had an older sibling there, because they were less unsure than I was.

However, as I began putting in my applications, I realized that this was okay. It was okay to be unsure, and it may have even been beneficial to me to not know where I wanted to go. Not knowing where I wanted to go allowed me to keep an open mind about all of the schools I applied to, as I was really trying hard to figure out where I wanted to go. This is how I decided to apply to SMU.

Growing up in Texas, I of course knew the reasons why SMU might be a difficult place to attend. The cost of attendance is higher than most schools, and this was a major deterrent to me wanting to put an application in. But I am so glad I did! I literally applied to SMU the day before the early application was due, and it is because of this that I received enough financial aid to make SMU an actual option.

Fast forward to February of 2019, after I had gotten in to SMU, and my parents and I came to visit the campus for this first time, for an accepted students event. I think this was the day I really knew I wanted to come to SMU. I loved the campus and enjoyed the smaller nature of it. While SMU is by no means a tiny school, it is much smaller than other universities in Texas, such as A&M or UT, which was a good thing for me, as I didn’t want to go to a huge school. I also really enjoyed the presentations from current students, and that made me confident I could thrive here.

Obviously, picking what college you are going to is a very personal and individual decision. However, my time applying to and choosing SMU made me realize it’s okay to not know what you want right away. It also made me realize that you should try for the things you think you might not achieve- how else will you know? For me, that was SMU.


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Natalie Clark is a junior at Southern Methodist University, majoring in English and Political Science on the Pre-Law track. She is a firm believer in a good nap. In her spare time, she likes to read, play tennis, and hang with friends. Instagram: @natclark424
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