By Caroline Yablon | Copy Editor
Attending a community college your freshman year is not a death sentence –– I would know because that is my story.
Attending Baylor was a dream of mine since I was a little girl. Being that my dad is a proud Baylor Bear, he did his job as a father to immerse his kids in Baylor culture by taking my sisters and I to as many homecomings, basketball and football games and events as he could.
It’s normal for high students to go on a college road trip with their parents, touring schools that they could potentially see themselves at. However, for me there was no college road trip, I was set on Baylor and only Baylor –– unless, of course Harvard sent me a letter of acceptance then I might have reconsidered.
My senior year of high school rolled around, and it was finally time to apply for college. I was very excited to start my application for Baylor. However, I learned the hard way that I might have had too much passion when writing my essay questions when I misread the application. I interpreted 2500 characters as 2500 words and used every single one –– I would like to have a moment of silence for my English teacher who spent weeks helping me through the process of writing it and then helping me condense it. Long story short, I managed to cut my essay down enough to where the character count wasn’t in the negatives.
My application was submitted around October of my senior year. I was hopeful as well as anxious that I would be accepted. Sometime near the end of my fall semester, I received my rejection letter from Baylor. It was hard at first, but with the encouragement from my friends and family, but most importantly my faith in God, I didn’t allow myself to put away my dream of one day studying at Baylor just yet, but made sure it remained alive in my heart.
I was a camper at Kanakuk Kamps for five summers during my childhood. At the end of camp, they have an award ceremony where your counselors present to you a character quality award that they wrote. A few weeks after hearing from Baylor, I was going through old stuff and came across a few of the character qualities that my counselors wrote about me. One of my counselors said that I possess the character trait of determination. Reading that was a reminder that I so desperately needed from the Lord at the time, that I cant lose my determination to one day attend Baylor.
In doing so, with the help and encouragement from my high school guidance counselor Mrs. McMinn, I came up with the idea of attending McLennan Community College in Waco for a year before applying again to Baylor.
Before I made the decision to attend MCC instead of applying to other universities, I was a little apprehensive of attending a community college because of the stigma surrounding it: that you are seen as a failure by others. But I knew that I had to brush the negative connotations away and focus on what’s most important and not caring about what others think of me for attending MCC.
At the end of my freshman year, I ended up having the highest GPA that I had ever had. My determination in my studies, my faith in God and support from family and friends lead to me being accepted into Baylor my sophomore year.
As a junior now, I can honestly say how thankful I am for being rejected by Baylor for my freshman year and attending MCC because it provided me with a foundation to be successful at Baylor that I didn’t have my senior year of high school. The Lord truly knows what we need far greater than what we know about ourselves. I hope my transfer story can encourage senior high school students who are getting ready to apply to colleges to know that rejection from a school is not a forever no, but with hard work and open mindedness to other options like attending a community college their first year, they can turn their rejection letter into an acceptance letter.