College experience as a student and athlete: DI vs DIII

If I had five dollars for every time someone asked me “Why are you here?” when I tell them that I transferred to Wilkes from Towson University, I could most likely pay tuition in five dollar bills.

But at the time, Towson dropped my major from their curriculum, and the love of my life attended Wilkes, so there was a lot to look forward to. There are several things that I miss about Towson, along with plenty of things that I like about being a student at Wilkes. However, some of the differences are still hard to get used to. The largest difference would have to be the size of the campus, and the number of students walking the pathways. On Towson’s campus there were about 20,000 undergrad and graduate students compared to roughly Wilkes’ 2,300 undergrads.

A larger amount of students meant bigger classroom settings and teachers that had no idea who you were. The moment that I knew I wanted something different than Towson was when I went to my sociology 101 professor’s office hours and she was convinced I was in the wrong place, even though I sat in the front row of her class and participated regularly. That night I went home and found Dr. Andy Wilczak’s e-mail and contacted him about transferring to Wilkes, to which he welcomed me with open arms. The larger student population also made the Division I tailgating and sporting events the thing to do on a Saturday afternoon, with everyone repping their favorite Greek letters across their chests while cheering on the athletes.

I was lucky to have met and become very close with the Towson University football team who would complain about their schedules, just as often as our Wilkes Colonels. My best friend Zeus Barrio, an offensive lineman for the Tigers, was recruited from McKinney, Texas, and is on a full ride to Towson. Barrio, who is now a junior, says. “I sometimes wish I went to a smaller school or a lower division that did not have such a demanding practice schedule, but I have found a family on this campus and I don’t think I would be able to give that up.”

Even though Dominick Ammirato is 300 miles away from the players at Towson, he seems to be on the same wave length. “Of course I wish I could have competed at a higher level but I understood my limits and decided to play at a school where I knew I would get playing time,” he explains. “I like playing here because of the coaches and the friends I’ve made along the way with the small school, know everybody environment.” Leaving people like Zeus was the hardest part of transferring from being a Tiger to becoming a Colonel, but meeting people like Dominick makes it worth the move. Just like at Wilkes, everyone finds their cliques which develop into your family. I left friends and memories down in Baltimore, but I am lucky enough to have met girls that will be standing next to me at my wedding and who knows, maybe the guy that will be standing on the other side