Move-in day for Wagner’s incoming freshmen is a couple days away, but I'm not as nervous as most. You see, I have a secret advantage over most of the Class of 2021. Last summer, I spent three weeks living on Wagner’s campus as part of their Pre-College Program. For three weeks I took classes with the college’s professors and learned exactly what would be expected of me in the coming years. In my off time, I walked the campus, explored the classrooms and ate in the cafeteria. I lived in a real dorm with my roommate, Nicole. We got a real sense of life there. On weekends, we learned how to use the shuttles to the Staten Island Ferry (a Wagner student essential.) We took field trips where we learned how to map the subway system. Through experience, I figured out that Wagner had the kind of campus I was looking for, even if that wasn’t what I was originally set out to do.
When I signed up for the Pre-College course, I was looking for a way to spend my summer. In September, I was going to be taking a class for my EMT-B certification, so the Simulated Medicine program seemed to be the perfect way to jump-start learning what I’d need to know. I built a great foundation through that class, and learned a lot of writing techniques in my afternoon class, too. Nicole, on the other hand, was going to learn about the campus and the Physicians Assistant program. She was looking to find out if she really wanted to become a PA one day and if Wagner was the school she’d go to. But like I mentioned earlier, the classes were only part of how I learned. I learned what kind of campus I wanted: small. I learned that I never want to have to take a shuttle from class to class (even if I sometimes wish there was a shuttle from Harborview to the top of the hill.) I also learned that I loved Wagner and the community. Wagner is a college, but they also have many other programs that I got to see firsthand over the summer, including camps for kids, volunteer projects for Staten Island and international programs.
When I left Wagner last summer, I didn’t know that I would be returning in the fall. But whenever I thought about college, I kept picturing myself there. Once I was accepted, my choice was obvious.
In a few days, I will be back on Wagner's campus. This time, not for three weeks, but for four years. And the best part? I’ll be rooming with Nicole again, just like last summer.
Written by Grace Twaddell