I grew up in the DC metropolitan area-- Northern Virginia, to be exact-- and so did both parents. I had almost taken DC for granted and the incredible resources that were available to me-- monuments, museums, a free zoo, the Kennedy Center-- until I began looking at colleges to apply to. While most of my friends were looking at Virginia public colleges, I came to realize how much I would miss my native city, and how much more of it I still had yet to explore. I decided to apply to AU, but I didn't get my hopes up too high. After all, its tuition cost is very high, and there were several public universities on my list. But when the acceptance letters rolled in, I discovered I'd received a great scholarship and very generous financial aid from AU... and a very small college in Pennsylvania, which I also liked a lot. I grappled for weeks with my decision, unable to choose between the two schools. Then, one gorgeous warm day in April, my family decided to spend a day in the city. The cherry blossom festival was in full swing, the sky was a cloudless blue, and the city was stuffed to the gills with excited tourists and satisfied locals. My family visited the new Human Origins exhibit at the Natural History Museum, my favorite building in the entire world (and where I had volunteered for a year), then swung by the beautiful World War II Memorial, where children were splashing in the fountain. As we waited by the traffic-choked streets for my father to come pick us up, we ate ice cream and posed for pictures against the cherry blossoms. While I heard my brother, sister, and mother complaining about the crowds, the noise, the traffic, I suddenly realized... "I don't want to leave this behind." In a moment of clarity, I saw how much DC meant to me, and how much more I still hadn't seen. I knew right then that I would be going to AU. Since that day, I have never once regretted my decision.
Kelly tells us why she chose to come to American University
Steve tells us why he chose to come to American University
Cliff tells us why he chose to come to American University