A Place Like "Home"

Have you ever gone somewhere and everything just felt right? Like you belonged there? We all yearn for it, a place like home.

With November approaching, students all across the world will be applying to colleges. I wanted to share a personal experience that I had this past summer to help with the "but where do I apply?" people.

This past July, I had the privilege of attending Northwestern University's Medill Cherub program serving 84 high school students interested in journalism for five weeks. As I have mentioned in my previous posts, I have always known journalism is what I want to do, so I wanted to gain more insight on the field.

I decided to have a productive summer and chose to further enhance my knowledge of the industry. My decision meant leaving my family and friends behind, but I knew it was best for me and when "you know, you know." I had to seize this opportunity and take it with grace.

I have visited Northwestern a couple of times, always visualizing what it would be like to attend school there. But it was not until I stepped on the campus as a cherub that I put everything into perspective with all of the "what ifs" and questions.

What if I get my hopes up? What if I fall in love with Northwestern, but end up getting rejected? How would I ever forgive myself?

I assured myself that I was going to enjoy every minute of the program and take it all in. I was there for a reason and had to "grasp the moment" as they say. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me and I wanted to cherish it.

The school is well-known for their journalism program and it would be such an honor to go there; I, of course, ended up loving every second of being there. All of the sleepless nights were worth it because of all of the bonds that I made with people from around the world. (I highly recommend the cherub program to anyone interested in journalism).

From my experience, I have decided that in the fall I will be applying early decision to Northwestern with the hopes of getting accepted. I have always believed in going with your gut instinct and what feels right. I cannot think of a place better suited for me.

They say that "there is no place like home," and I believe that. At Northwestern everything was home. The lakefill. The people. The atmosphere. I would be foolish not to apply.

I am proud to say that this experience has changed my life. It was a relief to know that the journalism field is not dying, but rather it is just changing. The instructors made my passion grow and truly cared for the field of journalism.

For now, I will remember my time as a cherub and hope for the best in the admission process. Because of this program I now know that whether or not I go to Northwestern University -- I will be okay.

The memories will remain as it was the "best summer of [my] life."

For anyone that is deciding on the colleges they should apply to, my advice is this: Visit the school. Yes, you can look at pictures all you want online, but until you experience the school, that is when you will know if it is right for you or not.

I cannot describe the feeling you will get when you walk the halls that you would be using if you attend that school. Everything suddenly becomes real and you get a better understanding if that school is the one for you.

Good luck to anyone applying this year. No matter where you end up, be happy.

You can follow Kaitlyn on Twitter @kaitk96 and visit her website at www.notyourtypicaljerseygirl.com.