Choosing a university

Kathleen Bannon is hard working and motivated individual. She graduated from the University of Tampa with a MS in Instructional Design and Technology, and BFA in Graphic Design. Kathleen earned her degree while being a division II student athlete and keeping an above average GPA. She is currently working as an Instructional Design Consultant with CVS Caremark.

or college can be one of the toughest moments in a young adult’s life. At that point in time, you’re about to graduate high school, get your first taste of freedom, and learn what makes you an individual. There are so many factors and scenarios that play through one’s mind when making that big decision. The best advice I can give to someone living in that moment is “Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You will always end up where you need to be.” When I was in that moment I was an established student athlete. I had made all-state two years in a row and played on one of the most elite softball teams in the New England area. When looking for colleges it was all about the “offer.” I based my entire college search off of what schools wanted ME? I constantly asked myself that question and made it my deciding factor. I know now that I should have been asking “What schools do I want.” Instead of worrying about an athletic scholarship offer, I should have been asking “What this school will provide me in regards to education and life experience.” I was recruited by the University of New Haven because they offered me the best deal athletically. A year later I would be asking for my release and looking to transfer. New Haven was a great school. With strong softball program, but something just didn’t click. When it reached midsummer and I was scrambling for a way to not go back there, I realized it was time to make a change. I had a family vacation planned and decided to walk through the University of Tampa; just to take a look. I fell in love instantly. I ended up transferring to the University of Tampa, a school I had originally turned down due to the fact that they did not recruit me. I was so focused on softball at the time of my decision: that I ultimately ended up turning down the school that gave me two amazing degrees, 5 years of memories, and countless long lasting friends. My first year of school gave me the opportunity to grow and find out what kind of person I wanted to be. It showed me where I wanted to go. I ended up making the transfer due to the fact that I wanted to study a program that was offered at Tampa over New Haven. What I had wanted to study never played a role in the initial decision I had made, but it was the deciding factor on whether I would transfer or not. As for me, I did land on my feet. That free falling feeling of wonder and indecisiveness wouldn’t last long. Once I made the big move to Tampa, I decided to try to walk on to their softball team. Once I made the team I realized everything had come full circle. I was finally at a school with the educational program I wanted, the location I wanted, and a competitive softball team as a bonus. Everything ended up the way it needed to be, but I may have never ended up there if I didn’t learn the hard way. A smart man once told me “Sometimes, you just need to have a little faith.” In this scenario he couldn’t have been more right.

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