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Column: Correcting my choice: My journey to Seton Hall

I didn’t know it then, but exactly four years ago I was in the midst of making the most important decision of my life as a high school senior: picking which college to attend.

I had my pick of the litter, but in my mind I had already narrowed the pack down to two. I made the wrong choice.

I think I knew even then that I was making the wrong choice when I came to my final decision, but at that point, there was no turning back. Seton Hall University, the right choice, turned me off for a selfish reason. My sister, my grandfather and my cousin had all attended Seton Hall, so suffice to say, I was bleeding blue before I even stepped on campus.

However, I wanted to be different and decided to look elsewhere. I always considered myself to be the black sheep in the family growing up, and I was further proving that point by majoring in journalism when I was born into a family of teachers and businessmen. Why not add a university no one in my family had ever attended before to the mix to keep my track record going?

I wanted the university that I originally attended to be a place I could call my own and not just be a legacy as expected. It was this naive and egocentric 18-year-old mindset that led me to make the wrong decision in the first place. However, making the wrong decision is what ultimately led me to where I am today. So, in retrospect, this decision was a blessing in disguise.

Immediately after I began my first semester, I surmised that I felt completely out of place. I tried to rationalize that I was judging too quickly and not giving this university a chance, but by early November my mind was made up. My mother and I had open and honest discussions about me transferring schools leading up to that point and figured I would finish out my freshman year before making the jump. However, it hit me all at once that I couldn’t wait an entire semester.

By mid-December, my transfer was almost complete. All I had left was a meeting with an adviser to make sure my credits and credentials were in order. At the end of the meeting, the adviser stood up, shook my hand, and said the four words I longed to hear for months: “Welcome to Seton Hall.”

Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I picked Seton Hall in the first place. Looking back, though, I know I wouldn’t have had the wonderful experiences I did had I done so. I wouldn’t have met the friends I have now or even be the person I am today had I started a semester early.

I learned to take matters into my own hands and went after what I wanted. In the end, I learned that making the wrong choice can sometimes lead to the right one.

Jenna Pearsall is a journalism major from Pompton Plains, N.J. She can be reached at

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