Starting college is a daunting task. I remember my senior year of high school. I had to pick between 4 college acceptances, which means I had to decide what aspects of college and my regular life were the most important so that I could combine the two. I never knew how much playing tennis meant to me until I was tasked with the choice of choosing between schools with no sports at all and one that was offering me a sports scholarship. It was my toughest to date. In the end, I gave up the money. I decided on a school with an amazing reputation, a beautiful campus, a tennis team I could learn from and a comfortable atmosphere. I could enjoy. Those were the ideals that were the most important to me. I never knew that before I had to choose schools. If I had, I probably would have applied to different schools in the first place. Honestly, I chose my last place school; my fall black. It was a school that I was 99% sure I would get into.; a good school.  But it was not where I wanted to be. I wanted to leave Georgia. I wanted to be on my own; away from my parents. I wanted to start a new life. But my last choice school, my fall back school was the best decision I have ever made. I couldn’t have chosen a better school if I had a time machine and could do it all over again. This school; MY school; my alma mater was the best place for me. I learned so much about myself, my choice in friends and my desire for the future. I could have learned these things somewhere else. Sure. Another school would have taught me the same things. But the way MY school caters to you and shows you what you need to see is like no other. There is no place like MY institution. No one can ever take that away from me, the college or my fellow alumna. We are one. Though we do not all love and cherish each other as we should when there is a call for support, everyone shows up. There is nothing like the sisterhood that is formed here; nothing that can replace it. If I had chosen my number one, where would I be? I am not sure. But what I do know is that I would not have the tennis family, sisters or mentors that I have gained from this institution. Choosing a college is the biggest choice I had made in my life until that point, as it will most likely be for you. Don’t take it lightly. Don’t put it off until the last minute. Regret is never a feeling that should go with any college experience. Start off in the right direction by starting early. I had my number one and that was it. I asked my mother for help and the first school out of her mouth is now a place that I call home. Don’t be afraid if you have no idea where to go or have only one school in mind. There is NOTHING wrong with a fall back school. Everyone needs one. No school is unworthy of a second look. Choose wisely and choose at ease. Don’t let the stress of your friends college choices push you faster than you are ready. My friends had chosen and accepted a college before I even had all of my acceptance letters. But I got 4 of them. There was nothing to be ashamed of. I had choices. My choice was Spelman College. What will be yours?

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