Today, we feature advice from Amanda Kuster – not only is she a Rowan University admissions counselor with the Office of Admissions, but she is also a Rowan alumna herself, having graduated from our Communications Studies program within the College of Communication & Creative Arts. Today she shares her own story, with hopes that it assists you as you navigate choices within higher education.
I always love telling the story about my educational journey and I thought I would share it with you!
I was a junior in high school when I first started thinking about what colleges I wanted to go to. Did I want a big school or small school? Did I want to live in an urban area? Rural? Suburban? I had no idea.
Being a first-generation college student, and the oldest out of my siblings, I was kind of the guinea pig when it came to the college search. I remember my mom and I were sitting at the kitchen table talking about where we should start the search.
We decided to start visiting public state schools in New Jersey. As I am sure you know, there are a bunch of state schools spanning from different sizes and campus locations.
We visited five public state schools and each one was SO different. I remember visiting Rowan University and immediately getting a sense of home and belonging there. The campus was a perfect size, the admissions ambassadors were awesome and helpful, the buildings were new but still had that classic university feel. After my tour, I knew I wanted to call Rowan home.
When senior year rolled around, I was very anxious to apply to Rowan. I had already bought some Rowan gear, I was telling my friends and family that is where I wanted to go, and I was running to the mailbox after school every day to see if my acceptance letter was delivered.
One day, I checked the mailbox, and there was a small envelope from Rowan University. I brought it inside, opened it, and started reading.
“We regret to inform you…”
I was devastated. I knew my SAT scores were low, but I was certain that my GPA and extracurricular activities would outweigh my dismal test scores.
Now what? I had already bought a sweatshirt, I told everyone this is where I was going. I felt so embarrassed and just let down.
Even though my mom didn’t go to college, she took it upon herself to know everything she could about the process and different options. After getting that denial letter, I sat down with my parents and we talked about the community college option. I was so bitter and was being so stubborn about my new path. I did not want to go to community college, I felt as if I was better than that. But I didn’t have many other options.
I enrolled at my local community college and I made it a point to excel in all of my classes. Fast forward two years, and I graduated with honors.
Now what? I still knew Rowan was where I wanted to be, despite being denied the first time around. I felt confident in the courses I took at my community college and had a stellar GPA. I told myself that there is no way I could be denied again.
I applied again. And again I patiently waited for my letter to come in the mail. This time, I received a large envelope from Rowan University and when I opened it up and saw the word “congratulations.” At that time in my life, that was by far the best day ever.
I knew Rowan was home for me the second I stepped foot on campus my junior year of high school. I transferred to Rowan after earning my associate’s degree and I decided to pursue a degree in Communication Studies. In my two years at Rowan, I was inducted into two national honor societies, was the president of the Communication Studies club, was the Student Government Association Academic Senator for the College of Communication & Creative Arts, had a great relationship with all my professors, and met my lifelong best friend.
Rowan has truly shaped me into the person I am today and I am so incredibly honored to be representing the school not only as a proud alum, but as an admissions counselor in the undergraduate Admissions Office.
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Camryn Hadley, rising junior public relations and advertising double major