Who Knew College was for Me


I didn’t want to go to college.


How could I leave it all behind? I grew up in a small town, I had a small circle of friends, a beautiful home, topped with a loving family. I decided that college was not for me. More so, school was no longer for me.


Throughout high school, I was a mediocre student. I showed up, I joked around, and went through it all with one motto: due today means do it today. I would half heartedly complete my assignments. Granted, my grades were not terrible, but they were nothing to hang on the fridge.


Senior year of high school, I started to realize that my peers were growing excited about college. They were scouting out schools since their junior year, but here I am, patiently awaiting the day that I am able to sleep in after graduation.


That year, I pushed myself a little more. It didn’t take much, but I certainly pushed myself. I graduated with a 96 average my last year of high school and on the High Honor Roll. I didn’t understand why I didn’t apply myself to all of my school work throughout those four years of high school. I didn’t realize my progress in high school would be the main factor of getting into college.


I ended up applying to a few colleges and universities. One of my brothers, who I am now graduating with, was being looked at for his achievements in football. He chose to attend the University of New Haven, while I was still sitting there wondering where I’ll go. In reality, I was terrified to leave.


My brother told me I’d be missing out if I didn’t go to college. I was always set on being an English teacher, but I never thought much of how I’d get there. I remember panicking, and brushing it off. I kept telling myself that I could always go to college later when I decided on a place to go. Part of me knew that if I didn’t go to school that year, that I would continue hesitating and life would get in the way, and I would have regretted it for my entire life.


I applied to the University of New Haven the day – the hour – of the deadline. I got the call an hour later, “Alessia Bicknese, I would like to congratulate you on your acceptance.” I never visited the school, I had no idea where New Haven was, so I just took my brother’s word, and I went for it.


Almost immediately, I found my place. I began copy editing the newspaper my freshman year, and I completely fell in love with the paper. Eventually, I finally started writing for the Opinions & Editorials section. I had found my truest, deepest passion. I always knew I loved to write, but I never thought myself to be a journalist – but that’s exactly who I became.


I wanted to do more… I became a columnist, creating the Charger Poll, and the Weekly Discovery.


Today, as a senior at the University, I am the Opinions and Editorials Section Editor. Today, I am consistently developing ideas for my section. Today, I am overwhelmed with excitement to see what my future holds. I am a student on the Dean’s List, a bookworm, and a member of an honor’s society.


Four years ago, I refused to go to college. Four years ago, I was dying to live, trying to find myself. Four years ago, I decided to start the first four years of my life.


My college experience has been nothing but life altering. My peers, my professors, and my passions have shaped me into the person that I have always wanted to be, before I knew who that person was.


My greatest advice to those entering their first year of college: If you are afraid, nervous, or battling crippling anxiety, you will find your place, yourself, and who you want to be. The opportunities I have had throughout these past years have been unforgettable.


I didn’t want to go to college, and now I don’t want to leave.