So Casey, why did you come to Duke?

Author name
Casey Tissue, '16

I must have been asked at least a hundred times so far, “So Casey, why did you come to Duke?”  And my answer is always the same. I tell the story of being on the wait-list and receiving a surprising phone call from the admissions office. I wish I could finish the story by telling people I jumped with glee at the exciting news, but the truth is I had already decided to go to Drexel.  Although I wasn’t overly anxious to live in Philadelphia, I wanted the process of choosing a college to be over. I was also upset that Duke hadn’t accepted me sooner than mid-May. But no matter how sour I was over my college decision, I just couldn’t say no to Duke University.

When I look back on that moment of indecision, I can’t believe myself.  My freshman year at Duke was both an enriching and challenging experience, and I learned that even after eighteen years of life, I discovered several new facts about myself:

1. Apparently, going to sleep at midnight isn’t late; I’m definitely a morning person.
2. I’m also a tea person.  I’ve never seen so many people drink coffee in my life!
3. I am not a competitive athlete; it took four years of running on the high school track and cross country teams and an extra month of Duke Women’s Rowing to figure this one out.
4. I’m pretty good at math, but not Duke math (aka rocket science).
5. I do get homesick, no matter how annoying my little brothers may have been.

I hope to learn much more this year, both in class and about myself.  I’m an RA in Bell Tower on East campus and I participate in Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ).  Both of these keep me pretty busy in addition to the classes I’m taking.  I haven’t declared yet, but I want to double major in Computer Science and Visual & Media Studies.  I love seeing how different these two areas of study are; I write computer code and do problem sets for some classes and read articles and write essays for others.  

Over the summer I worked at my first real internship for a computer company.  I was hoping to get a head start in my Java class this semester and gain experience in the work field, but I ended up learning more about just having a job in general rather than specific skills or facts.  I learned what it’s like to wake up at 6:30 in the morning, to sit in a cubicle and go to meetings, and to come home in the afternoon exhausted (kind of like high school actually).  The purpose of my internship was to figure out what I wanted to do after college.  How silly of me!  Even second semester seniors aren’t able to decide!  After my internship, I’ve only begun to wonder even more where I’ll be when I graduate.  Having a job didn’t answer as many questions as it created, but it gave me somewhere to start.  I’m looking forward to my next three years here at Duke, and hopefully somewhere in that time I’ll be able to finally answer the question of what I want to be when I grow up.