It’s about the education, the campus, and the water balloons, duh

College StudentsWhen it comes to selecting a college or university, different people have very criteria. Of course, there are the blatantly obvious reasons, such as high academics, strong sports programs, reasonable tuition or generous scholarships. But, sometimes the reason is something much more complex and personal to the individual.

I for one didn’t really mind how much tuition was, since the schools in my area were generally in the same ball park for total out of pocket costs and none of them were even close to NYU levels. Being rather clueless at a younger age, I also didn’t really care about what the schools were academically strong at, since I had absolutely no idea what major I was heading to. In fact, none of the statistics that would rank a school on US News Best College Rankings mattered that much to me at all.

What did I care about? Local bovine population relative to the campus size of the school. In other words, I didn’t want to go to a school with cows near by. I know, immature thought process with no relevance to education at all, or was it? Strangely enough, when it came time to buy a house I used the exact same criteria. Naturally price, vicinity to work, and the quality of home were also important factors. But, there was still something in me that screamed, “Don’t live by cows, or a farm, horses, chicken or anything else of that nature.”

I don’t have anything against animals. With the right foot wear, knee high rubber boots, I think cows are adorable. But, I’m just comfortable where I’m comfortable. For me it’s a dark cozy area not too far from the city bustle. If I don’t have to drive… great, if I can walk… perfect!

A friend of mine visited a Catholic private school and liked the campus, class sizes and the location, but was a bit concerned about the social environment. While on the campus tour, a group of students, screaming and hollering, ran past the tour group wearing nothing but Halloween masks and disappeared around the on campus chapel. The tour guide smiled and just said, “annual tradition”. It was set that quickly, that was the school for her.

For the University of Kentucky, it’s the water balloons. Every year the school tries to one up the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest water balloon fight. The school has an outstanding history, great sports, and national ranked academics. But, it also has that special fizz. That little bit extra that changes a school from being some place you wouldn’t mind going, to that place you want to go and that’s important. When you’re where you want to be, you’ll have more fun, learn faster, you’ll be more passionate and achieve more.