Monday, July 30, 2012

College Series: Why Franciscan?

So my dad and brother left yesterday to spend a weekish on the road doing college visits. I am unbelievable thankful that I did not have to be dragged along on these. I think anyone who has ever gone on at least a handful of them knows that when it boils down, they are all the same. Anything they try to up-play on the tours you can also see up-played on their admissions website. I think the only real purpose of college visits that you can't get from spreadsheets and websites is the "feel of campus" something that you can't put into words. Beyond that I think the most helpful tool in picking a college is talking to someone you trust who already goes to the school. After that you just have to take a dive for it and commit to a semester someone with the possibility of transferring if it doesn't work out.

So as some of you may know, I have not always gone to Franciscan. For my first semester of college I went to Xavier University (pronounced Zavier NOT X-avier)and then transferred to Franciscan in Spring '10. When I tell people this I often get the question, Why did you transfer? I probably answer this multiple times a week. If you want the simple answer skip down to the bolded area, if not a little more background to the story follows.

So let me go back and say that I visited a ton of colleges and applied to 6 colleges straight away and then tacked on another one. I originally applied to Villanova, Catholic University of America, CASE, Xavier, Loyola Chicago and St. Mary's (South Bend). On an after thought I sent in an application to Franciscan without going on a college tour. I, in the end, got into all 7 schools. I was weight listed at Villanova for a while but did get in right before the dead line. It wasn't an easy decision but I chose to go to Xavier. That summer after I graduated before I went to college I wasn't particularly excited to head off to college but the time came and I moved down to Cincinnati.

So here is why I transferred.

The process of transfereing is kindof all a blur because honestly I have no idea how it all happened because God so had His hand in it. I didn't particularly love Xavier and at one point I just all of sudden was like I am transferring to Franciscan. I didn't really tell people at Xavier for a long time because if it didn't work out I didn't want them to treat me any differently for considering leaving. My mom had suggested some other schools to consider also and I just remember being, nope I am going to Franciscan.

On October 8th I visited Franciscan during my fall break. Part of Francsican's tour included noon Mass, which my parents were extremely impressed by and in general they were really impressed with the school. They wondered why I hadn't there to begin with. My dad is very much so the kind of dad who trusts that we can make decisions for ourselves and doesn't often share his opinion too much if it isn't necesary. However on the way home from the tour, he says to me "if you don't go there you are crazy" That's how much he felt like it was the right place for me.

So why did I transfer? I could have stayed at Xavier and survived just fine. But that is it I would have just survived and I think been mediocre. However, at Franciscan I thrive and am becoming great. There are two points I make when I explain why I transferred. First, is the overflow of kids that were at Xavier. The class before me had 800 students, my class had 1200. That is a big jump in one year. We were all tripled in double rooms, there weren't enough classrooms, professors, classes, support staff, caf space, etc. I knew that that would follow me all 4 years as Xavier adjusted to the bigger size and I did not want that for my college experience.

That was the surface of it however, the next point turned out to be even more important. Xavier was only half way Catholic. To give a few examples I had a friend whose Theology professor had taught her that the resurrection may or may not have happened(!!!!!!!). Another thing that often upset people is that Xavier sponsored a gay/lesbian/bi/trans club. Those on their own may not have been deal breakers but are only a small example of why I say Xavier is half way. Franciscan on the other hand holds strong to the fact that they teach the Truth of the Faith. All Theology professors take the Oath of Fidelity that Pope John Paul II asked all universities to use in their institutions in his 1990 apostolic constitution on higher education, Ex Corde Ecclesiae (From the Heart of the Church)(You can read more about it here: I am a firm believer in the fact that you vote with your money. By putting that money at Xavier I was saying that being a half way Catholic university was ok, but it isn't! Instead I put my money at Franciscan, doing my small part to say, THIS is Catholic education, THIS is Truth, and THIS is how the world is changed.

So January 2010 I transferred to Franciscan University one snowy weekend and I have never looked back.

I would love to hear from you. If you have any questions or comments, please comment below!!

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