I think the first time I had even heard of Chester was the beginning of my senior year of high school in 2010. To say I was intimidated by the idea of searching for colleges and being on my own would be a severe understatement. I mean, I wanted to go to college, I just didn’t want to have to pick some place and stick with it.
I’ve always been terribly indecisive by nature so when my best friend approached me saying, “Hey I found this beautiful old school with stained glass windows and a converted old barn! You have to come see it!”, honestly I didn’t know how to react, but just seeing a school wouldn’t mean much right?
Well that was both wrong, and an understatement.
I believe I went on 4 tours of Chester before I received my acceptance letter and gosh, was that a sigh of relief! I had become quite fond of the little place, it was so much like home to me after-all, coming from a small town in the “burb’s” of a bigger city. What helped even more was that my friend had also become committed to attend at Chester.
It was like some kind of dream. Chester just walked right into my lap with the perfect set up. Even if I was on my own, I really wasn’t because at least I’d know someone; and I knew really all I wanted was a place where I could find people who would become something special to me. In leaving my town for the first time, it almost felt as though I was giving up the work I had put into making friends there, however I know now that was not the case at all.
I was scared, just like any other teenager going through a big change. More so I was scared, when come February my friend announced to me that due to financial problems she would be attending her second choice school. I was going to be on my own, and really alone this time.
It was a big leap for me, but I had made my decision, and more so than that, after seeing Chester I really didn’t even want to look at other schools. For once I had made up my mind, and when I set my mind to something it happens.
To say my first semester at Chester was tough would be the understatement of the century. To paraphrase something a friend of mine told me yesterday, “It almost broke me,” but the key statement in that sentence is ALMOST. It was a hard first year, being away from home and dealign with some difficult people at the point in my life.
But you know what got me through it?
When I knew I was finally going to be in the clear at the end of my first semester I was intensely relieved. My teachers made me strive for improvement and my classes called for understanding and effort. I couldn’t just be lazy anymore and get away with it. But more than that, I WANTED TO GET BETTER. I wanted to improve my art. I wanted to practice. I wanted my writing to be critiqued so that I could improve it.
I wanted to try harder to improve.
It was Chester that made those feelings happen. It was the community that got me through that rough first semester and it was the new people I had become friends with and the classes that made me WANT to learn that gave me the push I needed to get my act into gear.
In high school I was too indecisive, to lazy, and to relaxed about my life. I let things come to me instead of working for them.
That has changed, and its because of what I have found in Chester College.
And now, for once I have made a decision.
I want to STAY at Chester, and so you know what?
I’M GONNA BE PART OF THE COMMUNITY THAT MAKES THAT HAPPEN!