When I was a senior in high school and was getting ready for the next step in life, I was applying for colleges and universities that I would attend in Fall 2016.

Campus Mountains in 2020. (BriElle Harker / The Signpost)

I grew up in a small rural town in Utah called Roosevelt. The population is around 7,000 and almost everyone knows each other.

I was a captain for my cheer squad and both of my coaches were from Sanpete County in Utah where Snow College is. They suggested that Snow College would be a great transitioning school to attend because the town of Ephraim had the same feel as Roosevelt.

So, I took their advice and started looking into going to Snow College because it is a two-year school, and it is a great place to get your generals done for a very low cost.

The tuition rate per year at Snow College is around $3,750, and a semester rate is about $1,870, which is less compared to some four-year schools. At these schools, you could be paying around $6,000 a year and $3,000 a semester in Utah.

The campus at Snow was small, and everything was close to the campus. It was easy to find a place to live off-campus that was close to the school and affordable.

These are very important items to consider after you have applied for colleges. I didn’t realize how much it would all cost until I got accepted into different colleges.

Another reason I decided to attend Snow College was that I made the cheer squad. It would give me two years to work on my skills in hopes that I could make a four-year university cheer team.

Snow College helped me integrate into the campus community with activities like intramural sports, weekly western swing dances on Wednesday, sports games every week or going up the canyon for a bonfire with your roommates.

As my two years came to an end at Snow, I wanted to come to Weber State University and try out for their cheer squad because they are nationally ranked. Unfortunately, I was not selected for the team, but I still chose to come to Weber.

The reason why was because I got an Academic Distinction Scholarship. I had good grades while attending Snow, so WSU offered me a scholarship.

The scholarship was $1,500 for the whole year or $750 a semester. It may not seem like a lot, but any form of financial assistance helps.

My mom’s parents live in the Ogden area, so I was able to live with my grandparents. This was a more cost-effective way to live off of campus, and I got to spend time with my family.

The only downfall was that it wasn’t like living at Snow, where I was able to live with classmates who attended school with me for that social experience.

Weber is a commuter school where only a handful of students live on campus, and a lot of students come to class and then leave. That was a bit of an adjustment for my first month at WSU.

Another thing that was very different from Snow to WSU is that parking passes were required to park on campus. At Snow, you can walk to all your classes and never get a ticket, but at WSU, there are designated spots for each parking pass. If you don’t park in the right spot, you get a ticket.

During my first semester at WSU, I got free parking thanks to the LDS Institute. For the spring semester, I bought my parking pass.

My advice for incoming freshmen from high school is that if both two-year and four-year schools are good. What matters is that you get what you need for your future.

Make sure to learn the requirements of your new school, whether you’re moving from a two-year institution to a four-year institution or from high school to college. If you’re looking to live off- or on-campus, make sure you know how much everything will cost. Not all housing is created equal, either.

Make sure to be involved. I have made lifelong friends from activities and classes that I have attended. You can create lifetime memories from attending a sports game or talking next to someone in class.

College isn’t, and shouldn’t be, just about the day-to-day drudgery of going to classes, so make sure to find others who you can build relationships with.

You are only a college student for about four years, so be involved, make friends but, most of all, have fun while earning an education!

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