I Know What You Are Going Through!

2015 OCC Alumna Alena Cerro. She is a Film & TV major at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and a Writer’s Research Intern for NBC’s Saturday Night Live.

If you are a month away from earning your degree and trying to figure out where to transfer to, Alena Cerro knows exactly what you are going through. Two years ago she was in your position. Alena was on the brink of earning her Electronic Media Communications degree from OCC. She had options, some more expensive than others. In the end she chose to make a significant investment in herself and her future. Below are Alena’s reflections on her decision of 2015 and advice she is happy to share with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.

Two years ago, Ithaca College, Syracuse University, and Emerson College had all said yes to me. All three schools accepted me as a transfer student into their programs in Film and Television. I anxiously awaited the response from one last school, New York University.

Ithaca, Syracuse and Emerson needed a decision by May 1st. I was pressed for time. Should I accept or not accept? Which should I choose? I considered the pros and cons of each.

  • Ithaca College: “Ithaca offered the most generous aid. I’m smart, I’ll make the most of my time there.”
  • Syracuse University: “I could commute to Syracuse and save money. I would still get to cuddle with my dog every night!”
  • Emerson University: “I’ve lived in Syracuse my whole life. Should I just go to Boston? But I’m a Yankee fan!

May 5th, 2015 I was accepted into NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. It wasn’t the best financial choice but it was the one I went with.

As you make your decision it’s important to think about the future rather than the present. If you feel something that’s hard to explain pulling you in a certain direction, go with it. OCC has prepared you more than you know.

Two years ago I was anxious and frustrated but my OCC experience helped me make better financial, academic and career decisions at my next institution. If the road ahead looks difficult, look a little closer.

Finances are extremely important to consider. I don’t advocate for completely ignoring them based on your financial circumstances. What’s most important to you as you make your next college choice? Where do you see yourself in the two years after you graduate?

While this time of life is anxious and at times frustrating, don’t be dismayed by what’s right in front of you. Think about the bigger picture. What’s going to fulfill you as a human being? What opportunities lie ahead? What new people or experiences will you encounter?

Your abilities at whatever institution you choose will open doors for you wherever you go. The amount of money you owe when you finish is important but don’t let the bottom line be your bottom line. There is plenty of assistance out there. When it’s over you will have a degree to fall back on and a bright career ahead of you.

Have a question about your college decision? Want to run it past someone who has been in your position? Contact Alena via email at askalenanyc@gmail.com.

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