When I was applying to colleges what seems like ages ago, I had figured it was better to have too many options than not enough options. That worked until I had 10 acceptance letters and no idea how to pick the right school for me! Anytime I asked for someone’s advice on how she picked the school she wanted, she replied the same way: “I got this feeling when I stepped on campus.” I had heard that line so many times that I assumed the same would happen for me. I would go on tour of the campus and my body would be overwhelmed with chills and a sign from above that this would be my home for the next 4 years. Wouldn’t that be lovely?
However, after 10 different college tours (some schools multiple times) it became pretty clear to me that I wasn’t having that overwhelming feeling at any of the schools. Sure, I had some schools I thought were prettier than others, or saw people I thought may want to be my friends, but not at one specific school did I get that “feeling.” I sulked for about a week, thinking this meant I hadn’t applied to the school for me, or that miraculous feelings can’t happen to me. Then, I decided to do something about it. I decided I needed to dig deeper and find out what it was like to be a student at these schools. This is when I decided to go to SJU’s Walk with a Hawk Day.
Walk with a Hawk (WWAH) is a day designed just for admitted students, in which an admitted student is paired with a current SJU student and shadows him or her for the entire school day. This includes going to class, eating in the dining hall, and walking the campus. For one entire day, you get an inside look at what it would be like to be an SJU student, with a no hassle, no money down guarantee! I took this day as a chance to see what it would mean to me to be a Hawk. I thought it would be a free day to miss high school and play pretend college student for a day. I had no idea just how much this day would completely change my life.
The morning of WWAH, I sat in an auditorium and listened to students tell their stories. Then, I was paired with one specific student, Josephine. Josephine took me under her wing (pun intended) for the day, and treated me as not her shadow, but almost as my personal tour guide. Josephine asked what I was interested in studying, interested in being involved in, and the housing style in which I wanted to live. After learning I was interested in music and education, Josephine immediately catered our day to showing me how I would fit into SJU. She took me right into the office of Education, a place she had never previously visited, being a business major, and got me a one-on-one meeting with the head of the Education department. Next, she took me to the Theater company and introduced me to the director of all of the shows on campus. She also introduced me to her friend in one of the a cappella groups on campus. I felt as if I already had an in with all of the people who would be important to me in college. She then showed me a dorm room, and I will never forget this moment. It was our last stop of the day when I looked into the dorm room and there it was: I got the “feeling.”
WWAH is an event unique to Saint Joseph’s University and is what truly made me want to be a Hawk. I am the number one advocate of this program because I know it can work. It is a true look inside the average day of a Hawk and an extraordinary day of an admitted student. WWAH turned me from a worried high school senior, terrified of the future, to a future college freshman, excited and ready for what was to come.
Dani is a Junior Psychology major with and Educational Studies minor at Saint Joseph’s University. She is a Hawk Host, the President of her sorority, and a member of the City Belles, the all female a cappella group on campus. In her free time (though, there isn’t much), Dani enjoys spending time with her family, her three greyhounds, and eating buffalo chicken pizza.