Dawsyn Wilson ’26  |  Published March 22, 2023

Why I Chose Monmouth

First-year student Dawsyn Wilson provides a first-hand account of her decision-making process.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – People will ask you why you chose the school you did, and sometimes your words will fall short. There is no one way to pick a college. It depends on what you want and who you are. As a kid from Oregon, I never imagined I would wind up in the Midwest, let alone Illinois. I moved nearly 2,000 miles from home with two duffel bags and a suitcase, and I have never looked back. Sometimes the least likely choice becomes the best choice you will ever make.

DAWSYN WILSON: A frequent contributor to the Monmouth College news site, the first-year student f... DAWSYN WILSON: A frequent contributor to the Monmouth College news site, the first-year student from Portland, Oregon, decided to become a Scot despite its distance from home.My college decision journey was full of charts and lists of pros and cons. Information pulled from several websites was cross-stitched into Word documents where I could look at everything in one spot, color-coded and listed from best to worst. As I set forth to decide what college would make the final cut, I needed to be sure I chose the school that would benefit me the most at a reasonable cost.

I didn’t know where I was going until the middle of class on a random school day. There wasn’t a big ceremonial moment with swelling tears in my eyes with a big gasp, but it was a moment where every piece of the puzzle came together and calmed a raging storm of confusion. I had my college research sitting across from me. My eyes bounced from one college to the next until I just stopped looking. They trained at one college, and everything fell into place. I looked up from my computer screen and decided exactly where I wanted to go. At the end of my college decision journey, it was a distinct feeling of calmness. There wasn’t a shred of anxiety floating in my body as I looked away from my computer.

It was 2,000 miles away from home, 2,000 miles away from expectations and history that held me back. Monmouth College became my salvation, an escape from a stagnant existence. I would be stuck in the same place if I didn’t try to move on to something bigger. Here, I am a new face, just another student among the rest, a blank slate for others to fill in the gaps. I am free to be who I want to be. Every day, every new opportunity at Monmouth, proves I was right.

“Here, I am a new face, just another student among the rest, a blank slate for others to fill in the gaps. I am free to be who I want to be. Every day, every new opportunity at Monmouth, proves I was right.” Dawsyn Wilson

Monmouth may be small, and you may have to venture further out of its limits to find something, but it is still 10 times better than being stuck in a place where I will never grow into the person I want to become. Professors know me by name. My professors take the time to know and understand their students. At Monmouth, you are more than a number; you are more than a nameless face in a sea of students in a lecture hall. You won’t see that at a big state school. People you talked to once will always smile and wave at you. Big schools don’t offer the same experience.

For all prospective college students, deciding on a college can be difficult. Many factors go into the colleges you apply to, such as location, departments and student resource programs. There are even more criteria to consider once those acceptances land in your mailbox. There are lists of pros and cons for each college you consider before your final decision. People will tell you to pick something closest to home or a college that fast-tracks you into the highest-paying company, or other factors individuals say matter during your decision-making.

“What college will help maintain your well-being and fit your personality and what you want in life? … The college you choose should fit what you want, not what others say is important.” Dawsyn Wilson

You should consider these factors when choosing a college, but what about what you need as a person? What college will help maintain your well-being and fit your personality and what you want in life? These factors matter as much as the academic and career motivations that go with a college education. College is supposed to be a fun experience while being educational. The college you choose should fit what you want, not what others say is important.

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  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College is proudly test optional. Applicants may choose whether or to submit SAT or ACT scores for admission and scholarship consideration. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/admission/apply/test-optional/" target="_blank">Test Optional</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 99% of Monmouth students received some type of scholarship or financial assistance.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/offices/student-financial-planning/types-of-aid/scholarships/" target="_blank">Scholarships</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers unique academic minors in Global Public Health and Global Food Security for students who want to use their education to address global challenges. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-public-health/" target="_blank">Global Public Health</a></li><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-food-security/" target="_blank">Global Food Security</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We’re no stranger to winning. Last year the Fighting Scots won Midwest Conference championships in Football, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Basketball and Men’s Track and Field. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthscots.com/" target="_blank">Fighting Scots</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 98% of Monmouth graduates were employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/wackerle-center/career-services/" target="_blank">Career Preparation</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers several international trips each year during 2-week Scots Terms in January and May. Recently students have traveled to Botswana, Greece, Scotland, Japan, and more. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthcollege.edu/offices/global-engagement/" target="_blank">Scots Term</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an educational garden and 6.7 acre farm. Students grow and harvest fruits and vegetables to sell at the local farmer’s market. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthcollege.edu/academics/only-at-monmouth/educational-garden-farm/" target="_blank">Garden & Farm</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p><strong>Monmouth College is the birthplace of the women’s fraternity movement. Pi Beta Phi, the first such collegiate women’s organization, was founded at Monmouth in 1867. It was followed three years later by Kappa Kappa Gamma. The two pioneering organizations today boast a total of 275 active chapters nationwide.</strong></p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/student-life/sororities-fraternities/" target="_blank">Sororities & Fraternities</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an active Pipe & Drum Band. Each year on Scholar’s Day in April the bagpipers wake students up at 6:00 a.m. by playing in the residence halls!</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/music/pipe-band/" target="_blank">Pipe Band</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We offer a certified Peace Corps Preparation program that gives Peace Corps bound graduates a leg up in the application process.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/peace-corps-prep/" target="_blank">Peace Corps Prep</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College covers the cost for all current students to get a U.S. passport. Unlock access to over 198 different countries! We’ll even help with the paperwork :)</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/study-abroad/" target="_blank">Study Abroad</a></li></ul></div></aside>