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Out of state: Why choose Doane

When people find out I’m from Colorado, I’m always asked why I chose to come to Nebraska.

There are good schools in Colorado, there are mountains and I could have stayed closer to home.

Though I’m from Julesburg, which is actually nowhere near the mountains, I decided to move even further from them and my family because Nebraska offered something that wasn’t readily available in Colorado: a liberal arts education.

My brother, who is two years older than me, attended a liberal arts school and I witnessed the benefit of that type of education.

I didn’t want to be a number, I wanted my professors to know my name and care about my success, and I wanted to be able to get involved. He was experiencing the things I wanted, so I started to look at liberal arts colleges.

I discovered Doane at a college fair at a nearby high school in Colorado. I had never heard of the school before and basically stopped by Doane’s table because it was momentarily empty and I was trying to kill time.

I met Sarah Begay, who would later become my admissions counselor (she still knows my name and says “hi” if she sees me on campus), and I learned about Doane.

I learned about the educational programs and extracurricular activities Doane offered. I learned about the travel opportunities, including a $1,000 travel scholarship that can be utilized after gaining junior status. I was intrigued so I put Doane on the list of schools I planned to visit.

When I visited Doane, there  were many things I loved. The campus was beautiful and the faculty and staff were welcoming as well. I was able to sit in on an English class (which was the major I had planned on) and I was able to audition for a music scholarship (which excited me because I wanted to keep music a part of my life even though it wasn’t my major).

Though there were many things I liked about Doane, I didn’t have an “aha” moment when I visited where I decided Doane was the school for me.

I had to think. I weighed the financial aid package offered to me by Doane against other schools. I compared facilities and programs.

After all that, I was still torn between two schools. The college my brother attended and Doane. While my brother’s college experience had been great, I just had a gut feeling that Doane was the right school for me. So I decided to take a different path than him and enroll at Doane College.

Since then, I’ve had many “aha” moments where I’ve realized Doane was the right decision, which probably speaks more to the strength of the college than any visit could.

It’s like buying a house. The real estate agent can show you all the best aspects, but it’s when you’re living in it that you need to feel like you made the right choice.

My major “aha” moment happened when I decided to add journalism to my major.

At most other schools I probably would have jumped straight into my English major and never looked back.

At Doane, I was asked to explore multiple areas and ended up in a journalism class with professor David Swartzlander. It was his sincere encouragement that convinced me to add the major. I wasn’t a number to him, he knew my name and he cared about my success. Adding the major, furthermore, led me to the involvement I desired. I will be the editor-in-chief of The Doane Owl (the school’s newspaper) and work for 1014 Magazine (the school’s student magazine).

I could have chosen to go to Colorado State University, a school that everyone knows in a city everyone knows, but I chose a college where I have to explain those things because I didn’t want to be a face in a crowd. My liberal arts experiences have shaped who I am and have made me more confident about the person I will be when I graduate, making me glad I chose Doane College in Crete, Neb.