By Amorette Castillo
It all started when I was a junior in high school, and I started to show interest in applying to colleges. I was living in South Pasadena, California, and had previously lived in Pomona. I am Mexican-American, and I was going to be the first one in my family to attend college straight out of high school. I had no idea which college was right for me; all I cared about was getting in and being away from home.
I wanted to experience college in a whole new way. I was on a hunt to find the right college. It wasn’t easy because part of me wanted to stay close to home and another part of me wanted to get away. I knew if I were to stay close to home I wouldn’t be successful. I was too busy worrying about all the happenings in my household. I applied to over ten universities, mainly on the east and west coasts, hoping that one would want me.
Alaska Pacific University was my saving grace.
APU was the first school to accept me. When I got accepted I was the happiest person on earth because it was exciting to know that there was a college out there waiting on my decision. I received more acceptance letters from other schools, but none of those schools was like APU. I ended up choosing APU because I wanted a place far from my home. I needed to learn how to let go and grow up, as my family and I are really close. I also needed to get away from all the stress. In any case, who gets the chance to study in Alaska? It was a once-in-a-lifetime chance, right?
Turns out, APU is exactly what I wanted in a college. For example, it’s a small school, everything is local, and the faculty is very supportive and friendly. Plus, the class sizes are small and hands-on.
It has been hard being so far away from my family and home. But I know with great classes, friends, and support I will do just fine. APU has been great so far, and I know I made the right choice in coming to school here.