(not my photo)
I ended up interviewing at four schools. One was kind enough to offer an alternate interview day. I was accepted at all the places where I interviewed:
- San Francisco
- Washington DC
A part of me was secretly hoping I would be accepted to exactly ONE program so I could avoid making a difficult choice, easy way out, but I would be lying if I didn't say that another part of me enjoys the validation.
What surprised me was that when I visited Denver, I really liked the city, the landscape, and especially program and core philosophy a lot. I hadn't ever been to Denver, so I knew much less going into my interview/campus visit, ended up coming away quite impressed. There were a few concrete aspects that stood out as unique in a good way (service learning and research involvement), as well as the overall "vibes" from the faculty and students that seemed to resonate with my own values and goals.
The program in Boston is probably more "prestigious" - particularly around here, but also nationally. So a part of me struggled with turning down opportunities, that sort of thing. But I turned down a more "prestigious" undergrad and things ended up turning out fine. Not the end of the world. So that line of reasoning was easily resolved.
As for where my heart lies, I was feeling pulled in two directions. One, by a program that I really have a crush on, the other direction by all the people I care about who live here in Boston and the Northeast. This past year, with all that has happened with my cousin's husband, my aunt on my mom's side, I've been coming to realize more poignantly that people aren't going to be around forever, or I guess that things you take for granted can change in an instant. That every interaction is with those you love is precious. Especially with older family members. I don't want to live my life based on potentialities, but that was a huge part of preventing me from fearlessly jumping into the unknown.
I ultimately decided that this is what I need, for me, to live somewhere new, try something totally different. It just FELT like the right thing to do. I will have to make a special effort to stay in touch with those I care about, to make vacations count, and to have a very fabulous time with all of them this summer before I head out.
Also, I just found out the other day that I was awarded a merit scholarship for the program in CO, so that in a way weirdly sort of confirms to me that it is a good choice.
So. That's where things are heading for me!
A few photos from my interview trip across the country. I was very fortunate to have friends/family in all the cities I visited, who showed me kindness, hospitality, and a great time.
Me with a former Boston friend in her SF office
Bike ride across Golden Gate and through Marin Headlands
Hiking near Boulder