Okay, so the good news is that I received my first college acceptance notification. It's from Baylor. I logged onto their website and they had my name in big letters on a football screen type of thing and they were all like, "Micaela, you're accepted!" And so immediately after that I cried a bit and tried to explain and went into the bathroom. And then people followed me and watched me cry and it was nice.
I called up my parents and my mother screamed. She never screams. My dad was still at work so he couldn't answer his phone, whatever. I got home and was still kind of really happy.
I really like Baylor. Er, the campus. It's a gorgeous campus and it has a swimming pool with a water slide. It's completely spread out and I can see myself taking walks over there. I've been looking at dorms from the Facebook pictures of people I know and I was imagining myself in one.
The bad news is that my beliefs don't fit into my own and I'm afraid that going there will stifle a lot of the aspects of my personality. And at this point in my life, I'm still working on it. I don't want any drastic changes right now.
First of all, it's conservative. I've read several reviews from actual students and while the faculty tends to be quite liberal (as apparently most college faculty members are the students lean towards the right. Problem #1. I'm wildly liberal. I'll consider the opinions and arguments of the other side, but I think my mental wiring cannot allow me to be anything but liberal at this point in my life. I get that this might not manifest itself in such a blatant way. I currently go to a school that is mostly conservative. But I only associate with fellow liberals, which makes life easier. At this point right now, right before elections, I'm especially worried. If Romney does get elected, and I do attend Baylor, I wonder how much life would change for me. I have one class here where people are openly conservative and I honestly cannot talk because they do not listen to what I am saying. It's not just based on our different political standings, I'm aware, but no matter how much people try to cover it up, it is significant. I'm sure that I would be able to find a comfortable place in Baylor, but it would just be easier to fit in at a more liberal school.
Second, it's Baptist. It is the largest Baptist university in the world. The recognition for their size, I believe, pushes them even more to maintain a strong religious image in the media. Their mission statement contains a lot of declarations that I do not agree with in regards to religion. Granted, I currently go to a religious school, but aside from the classes we are forced to take and the occasional masses, it is not shoved down our throats. This current year actually, I'm taking a theology class that technically isn't theology at all. I don't feel ostracized during any of the masses. Yet I still don't like discussing religion with any of my classmates who don't know me as well. I fear that at Baylor, more of the people there will be outspoken about their religion. It's a Baptist school. Baptist. I apologize for making generalizations, but going with the information I have received through my own experiences, a number of them are fundamentalists. And I fear that they would be the type to force their opinions on me and judge me for being an atheist.
Third, they don't seem to allow support for a lot of minority groups, namely the LGBT community, which bothers me a lot. In 2011, just last year, Baylor offered a course titled, "Homosexuality as a Gateway Drug." The link goes to the Huffington Post, but there are multiple other websites that have published the same stories, if validity is what you're looking for. The public got in its face about it and they countered by saying it was "intended for independent study...for one student rather than as a group." They were forced to change the name into something more politically correct. Also, they would allow an entire course for one student which basically promotes homophobia and a false image of sexuality and they did not allow a gay student to start an awareness group that would actually increase positive understanding. I really do not want to spend four years of my life surrounded by people who don't want to open their minds and who would judge me or anybody else for something like this. I know that this is a single incident. And it doesn't reflect the entire views of the school, but these are exactly the type of things people should be looking into when making the decision.
So I've been accepted. I don't have any other option yet. I'm still waiting on a notification from UT which is more liberal and open minded. However, with the top 8% admissions rule in place, I have already prepared myself for rejection. Realistically speaking, my chances of getting into UT are somewhat slim. It's my first-choice at this moment, but it's up in the clouds. Baylor is my more down-to-earth 1st choice. So...second choice, but not really.
If I get in, I will go. I'll have to mentally prepare myself for the massive amount of people, because I know it is ridiculous. And with all of those people, I am guaranteed to encounter several major issues. I'm simply not ready yet to go out in an environment like that. In some ways, I think Baylor might be better because it would be much more controlled. I would be surrounded by people who have likely grown up in a strong household built on morals. Hell if I know, actually. That's more generalizing. UT is also much cheaper and Austin is a more lively place. I really like it up in Austin. I'm not a partier and my will is strong enough to turn away from that type of lifestyle, but having the option to go out to places is quite nice. Waco, on the other hand, features tortilla-throwing from a bridge as a main event.
I don't know where to go or what to do at this point, because time is a major factor. If I don't send in the deposit to announce my commitment to Baylor, I might get a shitty dorm. But I just cannot agree with their stances on these major issues. I feel like I would be suffocated here, despite it's wide open land layout. Which is still incredibly beautiful, by the way.
I've looked at Trinity and St. Edward's and a bunch of other Texas schools, but none of them appeal to me. I've researched them and I just don't feel any sort of attraction to them. So I've limited myself down to the ones with big names. I've been heading down this path since I was little. And now that I'm kind of almost here, I'm lost.