Choosing where I’d go for college was mostly exciting and a little intimidating but I ended up finding the university that was right for me in the end. 

Winona State had been one of my top college choices from the start. The reason why I liked WSU was because it’s smedium size, the out-of-state but close to home aspect, and it’s affordability. 

Although I declared a major, I was unsure whether I would remain in that major for all 4 years. I was essentially undecided. This didn’t worry me though because I saw potential areas of interest in several different colleges. When I eventually changed my major from Psychology to Communication Studies in my second semester it was easy to get the help I needed at Career Services. I set up an advising session and declared my major the very next day. 

I found that seeking resources was not only convenient but easy on a campus I could navigate. I thrived on a smedium-sized campus where I could attend classes, participate in clubs and activities and work on all within a 5 minute walking distance from the dorms and off campus housing. It was reassuring to me that I could find my way around and call WSU home. 

WSU was the right university for me because the distance from home was perfect. I wanted to attend a university outside of my home state of Wisconsin because I wanted to have a completely new experience. When I heard of WSU it was within driving distance and it was a change of scenery I was looking for. At first I wasn’t sure if living in a small town would be a good fit for me but as it turns out it allowed me to find where I belonged. I joined a sorority on campus, participated in community service work with the Love Your Melon Club, and attended a leadership conference in Colorado with the Asian American Club. I found various activities to keep me busy and I enjoy the time I get to spend getting to know Winona. 

The category that separated Winona State from the other universities on my list was the aspect of affordability. I was interested in several out of state schools: Elon University in North Carolina, Illinois State, and University of Vermont, just to name a few. My family and I saw that WSU offered many financial aid opportunities and it was clear that the university wanted to help. I was encouraged to apply for scholarships and seek other opportunities on my own. The additional benefits WSU had were its laptop program, foundation scholarships, and reciprocity plans. The fact that I wouldn’t need to buy a new laptop, I had many scholarship opportunities available to me, and I would get the in-state tuition rate instead of the higher out-of-state cost became my deciding factors that lead me to choose Winona State.  

Through much research and 2 visits later I committed in late March and became a Warrior! With a little more than one more year to go until I graduate I am still happy with my decision.

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Kiva Grote-Hirsch

Kiva is a Communication Studies: Organizational Communications Major and a Mass Communications: Creative Digital Media and Global Studies Minor who will graduate in 2022. Kiva is from Madison, WI and enjoys writing, reading, photography, and playing soccer.

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