I graduated one year ago today, and this past week I have been having such bittersweet feelings about graduating and my life as it was at Dominican. The last two weeks of my senior year were some of the most fun days and nights of my college career; what was so awesome about those nights out was that everyone was experiencing all the same emotions together. It was an emotional roller coaster! We were so excited to be done with college, so scared to enter the real world, and so sad to be leaving our home. Everyone was friends those two weeks, even if you hadn’t been all of college, you were at this point.
The decision to attend Dominican University was an impulsive one, and one of the BEST decisions I’ve ever made. The spring of my senior year in high school, I had made the decision to attend University of Illinois, Chicago. I had taken my placement tests, picked classes, and had a roommate and housing. I was all set… until, towards the end of summer, I received a phone call from an Admission Counselor at Dominican. This was the standard youdidntcompleteyourapplication phone call, and when I mentioned that I was no longer interested in Dominican and he asked why, I couldn’t come up with an answer. I didn’t have any real reason as to why I wanted to attend UIC. After the conversation was over, and I told my mom about it, she suggested we visit.. just for the fun of it. So later that week, on a Tuesday afternoon we drove to River Forest and visited campus for the first time. From the moment we pulled up in the parking lot… actually, from the moment I saw the University in the middle of a beautiful River Forest neighborhood, I knew. I knew that I belonged there. We walked into the Admission Office sometime veryyyy close to when they were closing and we were immediately given a tour of campus, no hesitating or asking us to come back a different day. They couldn’t have given me a better first impression. I was sold! Shorty after that visit, I called UIC and informed them that I was no longer interested. And in the Fall of 2009, I started my four year career at Dominican.
I spent all four years at Dominican working in that same Admission Office, making those same ‘incomplete application’ calls to other seniors in high school. Most of those students who never completed their application had no intention of doing so, but occasionally I would make a phone call and speak with a student who just needed little reminder to complete it or a little encouragement to visit campus and those were the best phone calls; the ones that ended with a student excited to start school at Dominican in the fall.
While there were days that I hated going to school, like any dramatic nineteen-year-old, I loved the time I spent there. I loved the classes I took (most of the time), the relationships & friendships I developed with professors, and the lifelong friends I made. While most of us are not very familiar with Dominican’s Alma Mater, there is one line that we ALL know, and we all sing; Oh So Proudly Dominican! And we are just that, so proud. Proud to have been undergraduates at DU, proud to be alumni having graduated from DU, and proud to have taken part in the tradition and the Caritas et Varitas that is Dominican University!