Why I Chose Hillsdale: Andres Torres

Written by Andres Torres

I wish was one of those students who could say, “After properly researching many colleges I applied to Hillsdale and immediately accepted my admissions offer.” However, that was not the case. The real story is that I still had no idea where I wanted to go after applying to eight colleges.

I first heard about Hillsdale when I was in eighth grade. My sister was doing her college search, and we heard about it on talk radio. As my family learned about Hillsdale, we began to like the college. It wasn’t long until my sister decided to attend Hillsdale. After a few family visits to the college and stories from my sister about what life was like on campus, my mom came up with the notion that I should go to Hillsdale too. However, I had my sights set elsewhere. I worked hard in high school, and I got accepted to what I thought was my dream school. I told God my plans and he didn’t laugh … or so I thought.

As we awaited further information from other institutions before I made my final decision on where I would attend, I suddenly realized that I really did want to become doctor, not a chemical engineer. As I realized the sudden terrible consequence of this decision – another dreaded standardized test – I began to wonder where I should go to prepare myself for this next step in education. I decided to give Hillsdale another look. I found out on January 30th that the admissions deadline was February 15th. Due to time constraints in the following two weeks, the only opportunity I had to complete my application was on February 1st, which just happened to be Superbowl Sunday. Between sideways glances at the game, I completed my application and fully enjoyed the second half of the Superbowl.

Soon after I applied, I scheduled a visit to see what Hillsdale had to offer me. The institution was founded on principles that I held, and the professors I met wished me luck on my college decision. They didn’t tell me to choose Hillsdale necessarily, but that they hoped I made the right decision for me. They also told me about the opportunities that the college could offer me. The next month, I returned for Leadership Weekend. I met other prospective students many of whom were still undecided on which institution they would attend. Together, we learned about leadership, and what Hillsdale stands for. Between the personal contact with other current and prospective students, the genuine kindness of the faculty and staff, and their ability to help prepare me for the future in my desired major, biology, and in the liberal arts, I was sold. I just didn’t want to admit that the dream school I had worked for for three years wasn’t what I really wanted. What helped me make the final decision was the realization that my work the previous three years had not been wasted. God had just used it to get me to a different destination.


This post is part of our “Freshmen Journey” series in which current freshmen write about their academic and student life experiences, and give their perspective on Hillsdale College.