What’s in a name?

applyingtogradschool

Hey dear reader, it’s me again, Carolina. You might remember that in my last entry I shared with you how I ended up in Chapel Hill. Today, I get to share with you why I ended up choosing “Carolina”.

“So did you choose “Carolina” because of the name?”, people ask.

“Well, it certainly had something to do with it”, I reply with a smile.

I like to think that coming to Carolina was just meant to be; and as a Christian, I simply believe that God wanted me here. I first heard about the School of Social Work at UNC Chapel Hill at a Idealist grad fair I visited while living in Washington D.C. back in 2013. I remember liking the colors of the School and the name, of course.  When the time came for me to consider my options for graduate studies, UNC was already in my radar. Nevertheless, I did what any responsible young adult would do, I filtered my options and had fun while at it!

The first thing I did in my quest to find the school-of-my-dreams was to make full usage of the Internet, just like any millennial. This said, I simply entered in google’s search box “Top programs social work”. Thankfully, back then (and I believe still today) US News & World Report kindly provided a reliable ranking of the programs in the country. I only considered the top ten in the list. Filter one: quality education, check!

My second filter was the result of a conversation with close friends in Washington D.C. that had moved to other cities in the States to pursue graduate studies. All of them mentioned that in my search I should strongly consider the geographical location of my future school. Taking into consideration that I was going to spend at least two years in what-ever-that-place was, they wanted to make sure that I wouldn’t be severely affected by extreme weather. Taking with full seriousness the advice received, it was surprisingly easy for me to rule out Ann Harbor, St. Louis and Seattle. Filter two: weather, check!

After applying my first two filters, the options I was left with were schools located in Los Angeles and Chapel Hill. I remembered that my good friend Andrew had live in Berkeley during his years as an undergraduate student so naturally I approached him during my quest (because Berkeley is only like 370 miles away from L.A. and it made perfect sense he was an accurate source, right? LOL). I asked him what I believe is one of the most contemplated questions I’ve ever asked anyone: “Hey, do you see me living in L.A.? Think I would be happy there?” Andrew simply answered, “I don’t think so. L.A. is big, remote, expensive, and it just might be over whelming for you.”  Filter three: Happiness, check!

By now you’ve probably concluded that the option I was left with was UNC at Chapel Hill. You’re right! Nevertheless, the easiness that came with such discovery did not translated into easiness to enter the program. You might be surprised to learn that the first time I applied to UNC Chapel Hill, I was not granted an admissions offer. Shocking, I know. And yet, am here. “What happened?” you might ask. Well, I’d gladly share that story…on my next blog entry. Thanks for reading!

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