Column: Did I select the right university for the right reasons?


Cullen H. Davis, Senior Staff Reporter/Writer

Did I select the right university for the right reasons?
That thought has permeated the minds of many college students at least once in their journey. For some, it is senior year when they decide to commit to thousands of fans and spectators. For others, it may be when it is time to write that first tuition check. Regardless of when the question arises, it is a question many students think about and a question that I explored recently.
I asked myself what was the basis for my decision to come to Alabama State University, and after some reflection, it was pretty limited.
My decision was based on only two factors: How competitive was the track team, and did the university offer my major? Looking back I think of how naive I was for basing my decisions on two things that would go through changes halfway through my college career.
With the expectation and hope that a college in Alabama would be fun and enjoyable, everything seemed to check that list, so I was all ready to pack my bags and call myself a Hornet. After all, a quick overview of the campus on the school’s website seemed like enough, and what I heard from students and alumni.
However, like anything, hindsight is 20/20, and I began to conclude that maybe I did not come to “Bama State” for the right reasons. I always prioritized certain things and knew my values lied on certain foundations, so why would I pass or ignore universities that exemplify that? To this day, I realize the blind decision I made and use this to advise other students or youth making their college choices.
Arriving on the campus as a transfer student, my first time exploring and viewing the campus was on move-in day. I had not visited the campus before I decided to transfer and finish my college experience in Montgomery. Coming from Louisiana, I was under the impression that there was not much that Alabama would have that I did not see or experience in Louisiana. If anything I was expecting Montgomery to be more urban than Monroe, La. My only prior experience of the state was the Alabama A&M campus, Huntsville, and Birmingham, so I thought I would be in good hands.
Along with that, my first career choice was in the medical field, and even though we have a pre-health track offered as a major, it is not as in-depth as other universities. So pursuing biology pre-health as my major was something I pushed to the side and never truly gave as much seriousness as I should have at the time.
Now a junior in college, I went through many ups and downs to get to where I am now. Switching majors, being hospitalized, navigating a new school in a new state with no family or support from the start – no, the journey was not easy. While reflecting, I realized that just because the journey was challenging does not mean it was a bad experience.
Through switching majors, I decided to jump into a career that is not only my passion but something that also comes naturally to me. I now have myself in one of the best and proficient majors at the school – communications. I have found myself networking and getting engaged with various students, staff, and alumni who have been great resources and friends regarding my career and steps moving forward while in school and post-graduation.
Two years ago, the reasons and basis for my decision to come here may have been wrong. Hypothetically, being put in that situation again, I would have prioritized things differently, which may have altered my college decision. However, I am happy with the decision I made. Ole Mother Dear has shaped and groomed me, taught me lessons, and connected me with people that I might not have connected with had I attended school somewhere else, and for that, I am thankful.
Through a combination of my work ethic and ASU, my path aligns more and more each day. With those attributes, I can definitely say I picked Alabama State for the right reason.