Brookville, NY: Rain. Pouring rain. I had come to the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University for an open house. I was unbelievably nervous, which was compounded by the extreme discomfort of my soggy pants, drowned-rat hair, and blown-out umbrella. But somehow the way I felt about seeing this school changed my mindset.
The counselors I met were outstanding. They made me feel respected. I felt like I could make my life in this place. I felt at home. For once the “diversity” line that all schools feed you seemed to ring true: here were kids from every walk of life ready to take the next big step together. There was the tall blond guy with glasses and Chuck Taylors whom I knew I would have a crush on before the end of the first semester. And the girl with ribbons in her hair who seemed much more prepared than me. It seems cheesy, but who wants homogeny anyway? I loved it!
Walking through the 308-acre campus, I felt that this is what a college should feel like: woodsy trails, a big library, and beautiful buildings. In the dorms, it was a lazy Sunday afternoon and save for a few groggy students traipsing to the bathrooms, the halls were deserted. But I could see myself running down these hallways, falling through doorways doubled over in laughter with friends.
Even though I was scared, it was amazing. Something about this school seemed to scream “Push yourself.” My interview with the Theater Department was challenging. It made me think about what I wanted from my education, my career, and my life.
After one final, wet trek across the grounds, I climbed the last set of stone steps and looked down to see a small gathering of painted rocks. On one of them I saw the Latin words Esse quam videri (“To be, rather than to seem”), one of my favorite sayings that has gotten me through the scariest of times when I didn’t know how to feel about myself. Call it irony, karma, whatever, this little rock was the cornerstone and confirmed that Long Island University at C.W. Post is where I am supposed to be.
Find out more at www.liu.edu/cwis/cwp.