I attended a small liberal arts Catholic college in Massachusetts until I graduated just a few weeks ago. Honestly, the main reason I decided to go to this school had absolutely nothing to do with religion; in fact I almost did not attend this school because it was a religious school. The real reason I ended up there was because they offered me the most money. It was going to be the same price for me to attend this school as it would have been for me to go to a state school in Connecticut. I convinced my parents to let me go to the out of state school since it was going to be the same price. I wanted to get out of the state for my four years of undergrad.
I have never been very religious, I made my first communion but that was it. I never felt the need to follow an organized religion in order to practice spirituality. I loved college and I loved all of the friends I made these last four years, but if I am being honest, I am not sure I would decided to attend a Catholic college if I was able to go back in time. I was not entirely satisfied with the total experience associated with a Catholic college. I attended public school my entire life so I did not really know what I was in for.
I completely understand why it is a requirement to take religion classes at a Catholic school; that is obvious. However, I wish I had evaluated this requirement before making my decision to enroll. Since I am not a practicing Catholic I found it more of an annoyance to take these classes rather than a learning experience. I think I would have enjoyed theology more if I could have taken classes that explored other religions. For this reason I do not think I was a good fit for a Catholic school, I would have rather have used those six credits of theology classes to explore a subject matter I found to be more interesting.
Outside of the classroom I found my school to be much more strict than other schools. I visited several of my friends’ colleges over the years and I found they have more freedom than I do at my school. We have very strict guest polices that require us to sign in anyone visiting, even if they do not spend the night. They are also strict about guests of the opposite gender, especially if you live in underclassman dorms. Several of my guest have gotten in trouble while visiting simply because they were unfamiliar with the strict polices in place at my school. It got to be very frustrating. My friends would drive an hour and half to come visit me and then they would get in trouble. I even had one friend get spoken to by the police because he was taking a nap in my apartment, while I was not there, and a fire alarm when off. After the police saw him exit my apartment I had to explain to them that he was my guest and it was okay.
Looking back I am slightly disappointed I decided to attend a Catholic college. While a Catholic school is a good choice for some people I do not think I was appropriate for me. I think I would have enjoyed attended a more liberal college.