Confession: I didn't want to go to UE
I may be considered a better PR representative if I told you that the first time I stepped on campus I knew UE was the place for me. That as I looked around I knew I'd spend the next few years here, and that day the grass seemed greener, the sky bluer, and the squirrels fatter.
Well one of those statements is true...the squirrels are definitely plumper here compared to those back in Chicagoland. But other than that observation, that's not how my first visit went. In fact UE wasn't my top choice in my college search until the very end. For about two years before then I was set on a school up north in Milwaukee. I imagined myself in blue and gold, not purple and orange.
Yet I'm here in Evansville. What changed my mind that had been set on another school for two years? Definitely the people for one. Everyone here at UE that I talked to during high school was fantastic. Not just polite but willing to go the extra mile to make sure I had my questions answered. My advisor here at UE was already helping me with summer course choices spring of my senior year. And when I received acceptance letters into athletic training and physical therapy programs here they were signed in pen, not electronically like from other programs. A signature doesn't seem like a big deal, but that in particular showed me just how personal UE is with all their communications.
Now a 6-hour drive through corn fields versus a 2-hour urban drive was another hurdle to choosing UE. Without a car I'm more or less stuck in Evansville, yet 2 hours away in a city there would be trains and buses that could get me home in no time. But the opportunities offered here at UE were too good to turn down. Specific to the athletic training program we're able to work on the sidelines, at practices, and in the athletic training room within a couple weeks of arriving on campus. I found that to be uncommon when applying to schools. And UE in general is very involved with service to our community, another aspect that drew me in. Since my freshman year I've volunteered at probably about 10 different locations around the Evansville community and there are always opportunities available (I just got an email that we could go play with puppies for 3 hours to make them look adoptable! That's not even volunteering, that's just stress relief at its finest!)
Finally, money talks. And while the sticker price of UE may be enough to make anyone a little queasy. But not only are scholarships generously given, there are numerous opportunities on campus for those willing to work. I have two current on-campus jobs and have worked three in the past three semesters. IM Referee, Phonathon, blogging (I get paid to share my thoughts with you!), and work-study are just a few. The opportunities here at UE are plenty and just waiting for you. All you have to do is ask, and I can tell you that any work you do to make a UE education a possibility is worth it.
The past three semesters have flown by and it's all I can do to not let this semester pass by just as quickly. UE won me over after I thought I had known for the past two years where I'd be after high school. That in itself is a fantastic testament to just how hard UE works for its students if we're willing to put in the time and effort as well.