It’s hard to believe that three years ago I was a senior in high school, stressing about choosing the right university for me to spend the next four years. And I guess if you’re reading this you know what my decision ended up being. That’s right, I decided to pack up my stuff, leave Colorado for the great state of Texas to attend SMU, and pursue a degree in Computer Science. So, why SMU? I toured a ton of colleges (32 to be exact) and by the tenth visit I knew what I wanted in a college. My list was long and specific and I knew I wasn’t going to get everything on my list; I mean no university could be a perfect match.
I wanted to attend a university where the student body was mid-sized. I didn’t want to feel lost in a sea of students, but I also didn’t want to go to a university the same size as my high school.
I wanted to attend a university that had great academics across the board. No matter what discipline I ended up in, I wanted to have a respected degree from my university.
I wanted to attend a university where I had access to resources that would help me develop my soft skills and my technical skills and would allow me to enter into a career fully prepared.
I wanted to attend a university that looked like it could be straight out of a movie. I know, silly. But I wanted red brick buildings and the big open lawns.
I wanted to attend a university where I wasn’t just an engineering student. I wanted to get involved and I wanted to be able to hold leadership positions.
I wanted to attend a university that had outstanding professors; professors who were willing to take the time to help me understand course material or to be a mentor.
I wanted to attend a university where the students were enthusiastic and engaged learners.
So, why SMU? SMU has a student body of 6,537, which is mid-sized. I love going to a school where I know a ton of people, but don’t know everyone, yet. SMU is well respected in every discipline of academia. If I ended up not liking Computer Science, I wanted be able to switch majors easily and SMU definitely offers that flexibility. SMU offers a ton of resources for students when it comes to careers. From the Hegi Career Center to the Hart Center for Student Leadership in the Lyle School of Engineering, I’ve been able to refine my resume and feel confident in my ability to network and find an internship or job. SMU is without a doubt one of the prettiest campuses I visited and I love walking or hanging out on campus. Our president even says “life’s too short to go to school on an ugly campus”. SMU has designed course curriculum with students in mind. It’s very easy for students to double major, minor, and have a social life. I’ve been able to get involved in a number of activities that I am passionate about. I’m not just an engineering student. SMU’s professors are incredible. I have been able to learn so much from each and every one of my professors and appreciate that they are all always available to talk outside of the classroom. My professors are genuinely interested in where I want to be in the future and help me find tools that will get me there.
SMU’s biggest selling point for me was the mindset that the university had about education. In class, I’m not learning about programming practices that have become obsolete in the last five years. I’m learning about languages that are just being introduced. I love that I’m not being told exactly how to solve a problem, but that I’m being given the tools and support that will help me solve it.
SMU may not be what every student wants on their college wish list, but it checked every box on my list and then some.