Emma makes a good decision

I’m proud of my niece Emma, who  is a six-feet-tall basketball star and valedictorian of her high school class.

I’m especially proud of a tough decision she just made.

Emma, who wants to be a physician, applied to 11 colleges and was accepted by nine—from the University of San Francisco to the University of Connecticut. She finally decided that her top choice was the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania.

However, before she had mailed her acceptance letter, the basketball coach at New Mexico Highlands University called her and asked her to visit his campus. He told her that he had watched her play and he knows that she is just the player he needs to make his basketball team a big winner.

When Emma visited Highlands, she met all of the basketball team. She really liked the other young women, and she felt really comfortable with them. Plus, Highlands offered her a “free ride”—tuition, room and board, books and fees.

For several days, Emma agonized over her decision. She liked Scranton and was impressed that 87 percent of its pre-med students are accepted by medical schools. But she really liked the basketball team at Highlands, and it would be easier for her parents to attend her games.

Emma finally decided to attend the University of Scranton and to play on its basketball team—even though it’s much farther from home and even though she doesn’t feel quite as comfortable on its campus yet.

For adults like us, the decision seems simple. Students need to choose the college that’s offers the strongest academics, especially if their plan is pre-med.

But too many high school seniors make college decisions based on where their friends are going or other crazy reasons. Emma was mature enough to make a choice based on her long-term goals. She made the decision even though, in some ways, it would have been easier and more comfortable to pick Highlands.

Emma reminds all of us that the easiest path is not always the best road to take.


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