When you are a senior in high school you are making your college choice with almost no data about the potential outcomes of your decision. When I was picking schools I didn't know which would be best out of the hundreds of viable options. It was all guesswork and gut feelings. I'm happier with Simmons every day, though. I would have probably been happy anywhere because the cognitive dissonance would not have allowed me to spend thousands of dollars and hate my existence, but each moment at this school convinces me it was the right choice. It's never the things the school promotes as its features that make me happy, either. It's always the unexpected perks.
For instance, 40% of undergraduate students in this school are going for some health profession. In my first semester I taught my mother to ask Simmons students, "Are you a nursing major?" instead of, "What's your major?" This fact means that everything at my school is clean. There are always trash cans by the bathroom doors so you don't have to touch the handles. The food is safe. The health center is good. The campus is fit. For someone who is conscious of those things it is really nice to notice the abundance of Purell floating around. I'm proud of how healthy we are in and out of the Sports Center.
We do have excellent grad programs too. There are graduate programs in Library and Information Science, Nursing and Health Sciences, Management, Social Work, and others. They are academically rigorous and they are what make the college "famous" I think. Each day I'm happier and happier with our library school because we have a gorgeous library. Students from all around come to our library. It's not Harvard, but it's pretty stellar. That one great convenience can undue so many ills because I am a sucker for a good book.
Finally, the thing that actually is an incalculable, unexplainable variable I never could have known about when I entered College was the community. Today I was studying in the common area with my laptop and books splayed everywhere. I was focused on finishing an essay. At that moment a young woman I'd never met before walked over to me and said, "Hey. My friend and I have been watching you from over there for a while and you seem really focused. We wanted to give you this cookie we bought from the bake sale to remind you to reward yourself." She handed me a cookie in a plastic bag and walked away. I ate it with a giant smile plastered on my face. It could have happened at any university in the world, but it didn't. It happened at my school because here from First Year Seminar and Freshmen Orientation to Senior Seminar they teach us to work together, accept each other, and become a community. I could never have known, but Simmons has a student body that cares for one another. I'm indoctrinated. I'm a believer. I love my college.