Greetings and Salutations!
It is officially the first day of the fall semester and I have returned from Indiana!
Coming from so far out of the way, I feel that I should explain a little bit about why I chose UAT as my university of choice, as opposed to other schools around the East coast, or around home in general.
For what it's worth, it's quite the distance to travel from home to UAT, and it's definitely an experience on several levels.
When given the opportunity for various colleges, I had always looked for one that could have a nice balance of the degrees that I wished to take, and finding a school that offered undergrads, let alone graduates, in Network Security AND Computer Science was a gamble all on its own.
From Indiana, I had looked into schools such as the J.B. Speed School of Engineering in Louisville, KY, or even Purdue up in West Lafayette, Indiana, but after visiting their campuses during my junior and senior year of high school, they never really felt like they were too focused on either, rather it felt like they offered it just to offer it, and didn't really have much of a backbone to the curriculum, or it was recently being offered within the past decade as many more career options are being able to be offered in the Computer Science or Network Security Departments.
However, when I came to visit UAT, I immediately felt at home, with the strong departments of both the Advancing Computer Science and the Network Security fields, as I was able to meet the professors and discuss with the students of their projects and different things they have done throughout their time there. It was really great to be able to find a school that focused so heavily on these technologies, and this only inspired me further to pursue my college interests out of state.
Living outside of your home state is a bit to get used to. As such I only go back home for a few weeks at a time at a few points throughout the year, most notable to be the time between semesters or the long winter break. Otherwise I'm living here as my "secondary home", but it's still a great place to be. As someone who loves to travel and has been doing so since I was much younger, this was an experience that I welcomed with open arms.
It was at one of my old jobs as a host/server at a local restaurant back home that also instilled such views into myself, as when discussing with my customers about my college plans, some were appalled to hear that I was going so far out of the way to be able to attend college, but others were almost more excited about it than I was at the time, applauding me for taking it upon myself to do such traveling and exploration beyond traditional boundaries as they wish they had done when they were younger.
For any of you students who have looked into UAT but have any kind of fears or concerns regarding traveling so far out of the way to college, or if you're an Arizona native, going to such a private university:
There's not much to fear, and take it as a tremendous experience!
According to our recent statistics, almost as much as 70% of our student population are coming from out of state, and some are coming from much further than I am, and Indiana is still around 1300+ miles away by traditional travel means! There are limitless opportunities available to anyone, assuming that they are willing to take them, and travelling is just one of those on my list! I feel much happier knowing I am able to broaden my horizon and go to all kinds of new places while I'm still pretty young, and this side of the country is only the beginning!
For one of my future semesters, I aspire to travel and participate in the Student Exchange/Study Abroad program that they are offering here at the university, and travel even more! My destination of choice at the moment is the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, but I'll just have to see where the road (or plane) takes me!
Long story short, travelling all around may be a little time consuming, but it's still a fantastic experience that I wouldn't pass up for the world! And I can only recommend it for everyone out there!
And for the time being, let's make this a fantastic semester!
Until next time,