NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Wilson talks about choosing two year or four year college and universities

When students reach their senior year of high school, the pressure to choose a college to further their education can be a very stressful time. Psychology major Maddi Wilson of Salem, N.H. is one of many students who was in this predicament.

Wilson previously attended Campbell High School in Litchfield, N.H. and graduated with honors. She was looking into four-year universities such as The University of New Hampshire, Southern New Hampshire University, and Plymouth State University. Though after extensive back and forth decisions whether to stay home and commute, or go away for school she made her decision to attend NECC.

“I felt it would be better off if I stayed home for the first two years of college, and so far it has worked out very well for me,” says Wilson.

She stays in Salem, N.H. on weekdays with her grandparents so she can commute back. Then on the weekends, she goes home to Litchfield where her parents and brother are.

Wilson is a psychology major who has already mapped out exactly how she wants to complete her time here at NECC.

“I wanted to get my core classes completed first, save money, and then further my education at a four-year university,” says Wilson.

Choosing psychology as her major was an easy choice. Wilson enjoys learning about specific illnesses and mental diseases that can affect a person.

“I find the mental predicament some people are in fascinating. I want to work where I can really help people. I want to make a difference,” says Wilson.

While Wilson spends most of her weekdays studying for classes and exams, the rest of the time is spent at her part time job, or working out at the gym.

“I work at Guess at the Merrimack Outlets in Merrimack, N.H. It takes up most of my weeknights and weekends. I try to fit some gym time in there too, I like to keep in shape,” says Wilson.

Some people may not know that Wilson is also an avid concertgoer. She attends small concerts mainly for alternative bands at venues such as the Paradise Rock Club, or The House of Blues in Boston.

“My biggest concert I’ve been to was Ed Sheeran in New York City, NY at Madison Square Garden. Words cannot describe the experience I had, and the atmosphere I was in. He is my go-to artist when it comes to studying, too,” says Wilson.

Like most students who choose to stay home their first years of college, she balances a part time job, school work, and tries to fit in a social life.

“When I first made the choice to stay home, I was really happy. Then, I got worried that I wasn’t going to make new friends, or really have that college experience,” says Wilson.

As far as her social life goes, she sees friends who come home for the weekend, and visits one of her best friends up at the University of New England.

A year later finishing up her first full year of college, Wilson is more than satisfied with where she is.

“Definitely the best life choice I’ve made so far. I am living at home having home cooked meals, saving money by not being away, I’ve made some great new friends, and I’m making money by working. It’s been a win win situation all the way around,” says Wilson.

She continues talking about the difficulty and hardships that most seniors today go through when it comes down to choosing colleges.

“Some parents, and teachers do not understand the pressure that most of us are put through,” says Wilson.

Student athletes are especially pressured. Some are accepted to multiple colleges, with possible scholarship offers. When it comes to the decision on what they want to choose, it can be very stressful. Parents have to give their input, friends give their opinions, and coaches also want a say in the matter.

“I was a student athlete in high school. I was a cheerleader, and played softball. I know I was not going to go to college for either, but I saw what some athletes went through,” says Wilson.

“If I could give advise to anyone going through this, I would definitely tell them to put all opinions aside and go with what you feel is right. No matter how much people may disapprove, or turn their nose up, it is best to go with the gut feeling that you know is right.”

Right now, Wilson has one year left at NECC. She is planning on taking  10 classes over the course of two semesters in the fall of 2014 and spring of 2015.