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Final Blog: Phillip Smith

Phillip Smith, Staff Writer

My family has this thing where they think moving clear across the country is cool, so I guess it’s my turn.

Early in my college application experience, I was for sure going to a school in Texas. I even took multiple TCC courses so I would have some kind of “head start” in my future. I applied and took visits to schools like Rice, the University of Texas and Baylor and got accepted to two of those. That was until I received acceptance to schools all over the country. From California to Kansas and Pennsylvania to Florida, I began to realize that leaving Texas was a strong possibility.

Most of my family had credible input and advice on my college choices, and even though it was very helpful, it also was very unsettling. The first semester of my senior year was a very stressful and confusing time, as it could be for any high school senior, mainly because I put it on myself. At the time, I didn’t know what the struggle was for, but deep down I knew it would pay off soon.

One day after school I went to my room and saw my daily college mail laying on my dresser. I usually open it and just toss it into the pile of other letters and brochures, but today was different. It was a scholarship letter from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). As I began opening the envelope, thoughts of huge loans and small grants and scholarships crossed my mind like any other college had offered. I started to pull the letter out and the first thing I read was “Cost of Attendance: $70,000”. This was insane. This college was the most expensive out of all the 15 I applied to. But I kept pulling the letter. By time I reached the bottom of the page, the uncertainty of the next four to five years of my life became very promising.

I received a full-ride to RPI in Troy, New York.

After sharing the news with my parents, they immediately lost their minds. They began to call everyone in our family, and I received congratulation phone calls for the rest of the night. I knew then that all the sleepless nights studying and hard work in my school career was worth something. It took me a couple of days to comprehend what actually happened, but this definitely was my cue to start preparing to move across the country. Again. Moving 1600+ miles for the next four years to me doesn’t sound as bad as it does to most people, because my proximity to other family and experience in cold climates helps me cope with the dramatic change.

Growing up, I could only dream of visiting New York, let alone live there, because of all the stories and memories my family told from when they lived there before. And personally, I wouldn’t mind getting another break from Texas for a little while since I have lived here most of my life. Seeing what else the world has to offer is what i’m most looking forward to in my college career, and hopefully I can be a source of inspiration to future members of my family to get out of there comfort zone and not be afraid of change.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Final Blog: Phillip Smith”

  1. Jodi Esaili on June 5th, 2017 4:15 pm

    Wow-great school! Congrats on all your hard work!

    [Reply]

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