Choosing a college is probably one of the most exciting things an individual can do in his or her life. There are so many factors in choosing the place that you will call home for four years and the process and experience can often be overwhelming. For me, CUA was a no-brainer. When visiting colleges, I had a few criteria in which I gauged how much I liked the school. CUA tipped the scales in so many of these categories.
I grew up as the oldest of four siblings in a very tight-knit family, so it does not come as any surprise that my main goal was to find a school that emphasized community. Catholic has gone above and beyond in being a place where I am comfortable and happy. Leaving home is not always easy, but it is when you have another whole family waiting for you at CUA. Everywhere you go on campus, you will find people who share in similar and different goals as you, but that never changes the fact that everyone you encounter on campus will want you to succeed in whatever those goals may be. This is a unique aspect of CUA that I never thought could be possible. I think most perceptions of college include that you will be stuck in a lecture hall, being taught by a Teaching Assistant, and never even meet your professor. Here at CUA, I can honestly say I have never been taught by a TA, all my professors know my name and again, they all have helped my academic success in some way or another. What a relief! It is so comforting knowing that your professors are there to help you both in and out of class.
Another great aspect of CUA is obviously the amazing location. I cannot even believe that I go here sometimes. Our campus is so beautiful and filled with amazing buildings, fabulous landscaping, and of course the beautiful Basilica. I find myself wandering around campus often. Even though I am a junior and have been here for three years, I still find something new and unique about campus each time I walk around. It is very easy to get caught up in classes and being involved in a bunch of activities, so I like to “stop and smell the roses,” as they say. Fun fact: We actually do have a rose garden on campus- hidden behind Aquinas Hall and next to Marist. On campus there is clearly a lot to see, but factor in the fact that we are so close to Downtown D.C., CUA is a winner. Honestly, being three stops from Union Station has been an amazing experience. It is literally eight minutes from CUA on the Metro and then about 5 blocks to the Capitol. It’s pretty cool to just spontaneously be able to stand on the National Mall! I take advantage of the location quite often and still act like a tourist each time I see the monuments. I have no shortage of photos of downtown because each time I am there, I act like I’ve never been there before. It’s a lot of fun to be a young person in D.C.
The overall purpose of college is to prepare you for the real world. CUA provides the resources you need to become a well-rounded, active member of society within your major and then within a world community. First, I would just like to put the spotlight on the Office of Career Services. They need to be your best friends from the moment you walk on campus. These wonderful people will proofread your resume and cover letter, help you find an amazing internship and then ultimately help you land your dream job. They are pretty awesome, and like I said, you should be a frequent customer in their office. They love to help students! Additionally, CUA offers so many student activities, and many of them are professional societies for your major. For example, I am a civil engineering major and I am a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, an organization that plans networking events, panel discussions and special seminars in the field of Civil Engineering. There are so many examples of the professional societies, and chances are, there is one for your major, whatever it may be. A final thought on being prepared for the real world, being at CUA really does shape you into a different individual. I can’t exactly pinpoint what has made me different, but all I know is that I am a confident young person who has grown immensely in her three years here.
I have had amazing experiences here at CUA and I really could not imagine myself anywhere else. I think it is important to remember to always take advantage of opportunities that come your way and to sometimes take risks. Blogging was something I never thought I could do, but the opportunity presented itself, I took the chance and now here we are. CUA has been everything I wanted and more. So you ask, “Why CUA?” and I say “Why anywhere else?”
– Lexie Mayewski