Why I Chose WOU: Students Share Their Journeys to WOU

WOU sign at the front of campus, glossy black with gold lettering, greenery behind it. Campus appears wet from rain.

The college selection process can be pretty daunting, especially during this time. It’s a difficult decision to make, but thankfully there’s always individuals who are happy to share their experiences. We spoke to WOU students about their college selection process, and their experience at WOU, so far. One Student featured is Hannah Young, a Public Policy and Administration major from El Dorado Hills, California. Hannah attended two years of community college before choosing to attend WOU. Another student featured is Johnny Martinez-Isaac, from Portland, Oregon, who is majoring in Education with a concentration in Physical Education. 

WOU Student Hannah Young Smiles for a Photograph. She is wearing a black and white checked dress, and her blonde hair covers her shoulders
Hannah Young

What was your college selection process like? Were you considering colleges other than WOU? 

I was considering several colleges across California and Oregon both, and in fact, WOU was not even on the list for a large portion of my searching throughout my two years of community college. However, both of my parents went to Western and they met here, so when I was in the state doing other visits, I scheduled a visit so that my mom and I could look for nostalgia’s sake. During that visit I fell in love with the campus and the environment and it rose to my number one choice for schools. – Hannah Young, ’22

My college selection process was all over the place, literally. I was looking at other schools like Ohio, both big Michigan schools, Idaho State University, Arizona State and obviously the big Oregon schools. Even though I would have enjoyed going to one of those big schools, I had to think about my academic needs and financial limitations. WOU was by far the best option for me. – Johnny Martinez-Isaac, ‘25 

WOU Student Johnny Martinez-Isaac smiles in a grass field, wearing a red gown and a cowboy hat
Johnny Martinez-Isaac

What stood out to you about WOU? If you have declared a major, did the department play a role in your decision? 

The department absolutely played a role in my decision, since Western is a small school already, the intimacy of an even smaller program is incredibly beneficial to my work for my degree, the connections I have had the opportunity to make and learn from have been incredible–and the advisor of my department–Mark Henkels–has been key in helping shape the education and opportunities I am receiving  here at WOU. – Hannah Young, ‘22

The size of the city and campus stood out to me about WOU. I like that it’s a smaller school because I feel more involved and have a chance to see more familiar faces, it helps create a sense of community. – Johnny Martinez-Isaac, ’25

Have you been involved with any organizations at WOU? What about on-campus jobs? 

Prior to starting my first term, I was in contact with my  department advisor as a part of his pre-law interest email list, and it was there that I found an opportunity to join ASWOU as a part of their Justice Board. Before the term began, I was appointed by the Judicial Administrator and Senate and ASWOU Presidents, and I have been working with them throughout the school year. It’s been an amazing experience working with great people and interacting with the campus life as much as one can during remote learning. – Hannah Young, ‘22

Yes, I have been able to be a part of the Soccer Club as much as we were able to this year due to COVID. I am also a part of some of the MSU programs. So far I have been enjoying them because it allows me to meet people who have similar interests as me or have similar backgrounds. – Johnny Martinez-Isaac, ‘25

How would you describe your time at WOU, so far? 

It’s been promising so far. It is hard to truly give the school a just and accurate appraisal since we aren’t truly getting the full ‘college experience’ as many know it, however the faculty and other students here at WOU have put in so much hard work into making the experience that we are getting engaging and worthwhile. Professors and advisors have worked tirelessly to accommodate the somewhat unprecedented needs of students. Student leaders have fully lent themselves to advocating for both remote and on-campus students, with efforts to make WOU the best experience possible for every student. – Hannah Young, ‘22

So far I have enjoyed it. I made great friends and we spend time together in the 24-hour study rooms WOU provides. I definitely feel like I have support from my advisors and mentors I have met along the way. – Johnny Martinez-Isaac, ‘25

We will be sharing more “Why I Chose WOU” stories from students in the near future.

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