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Finding the Best Fit: A College Decision Story

Published on 30 March 2016

Deciding where to attend college can be an exciting but nerve-wracking process for many high school students. With so many factors to consider, it’s important for students to evaluate what aspects of their future college are most important to them so they have a solid set of criteria to use when comparing top choices.

Moleigh Carson had always been interested in health care growing up, but it wasn’t until high school that she decided pharmacy was the best career choice for her. When it came time to consider colleges, Moleigh knew she was looking for a welcoming college environment with a strong academic reputation and scholarship opportunities.

After several visits to different campuses, Moleigh was able to get a better feel for the atmosphere at each school. “I liked how tight-knit everything was at STLCOP. The environment and students seemed much more supportive and relatable to me than other schools I was considering,” Moleigh noted. “During my visit I noticed the teachers knew all the students and didn’t think of them as just another number. I also appreciated that STLCOP offered direct entry into the pharmacy program.”

Moleigh first learned about St. Louis College of Pharmacy from her grandfather, Thomas J. Shanahan, who graduated from the College in 1959. “Moleigh is the type of individual who doesn’t make a move without thoroughly researching everything,” Shanahan said. “When she shared that she was interested in attending STLCOP, I was very proud of her, but I wanted her to make the best decision for her.”

To ensure Moleigh was making the right choice for her, Shanahan came up with a ‘no guilt rubric’ to help compare her top choices. The rubric served as a visual representation of how the colleges compared to each other in several different categories. Moleigh’s advice for prospective college students is to use a similar method to compare schools by ranking them in categories, such as academics, location, activities, security, atmosphere, and housing.

“It was helpful to compare the schools I was deciding between in a more objective and visual way,” Moleigh said. “My decision was much easier once I could see how the schools compared side-by-side. After considering all the factors, I realized STLCOP was the best fit for me.”

Now in her sophomore year at the College, Moleigh is confident that she made the right decision. The friendly, easy-to-navigate campus and comradery among students have added greatly to Moleigh’s college experience. “My classmates all work so well together,” she said. “Sometimes it feels like a seven-year group project, because we all support and encourage each other.”

Moleigh is a member of the Student Pharmacists Association (SPA) and is also involved in Campus Activities Board (CAB). In her free time, she enjoys socializing with classmates. “We like to hang out around the Central West End, go to a coffee shop, or do something different like ice-skating in Forest Park. We always have a good time,” she said.

In the future, Moleigh is interested in pursuing a career in pharmaceutical research. “I find it so interesting how things work inside the body and how medications can affect so many things,” she said. “I’ve thought a lot about going into research-based work, looking at different diseases to figure out how to control them or find a vaccine. No matter what I choose, I want to make an impact. I feel like I can do that as a pharmacist.”

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