Caitrin SmithThe Maine Attraction

Big life decisions often come down to lists: pros and cons, must-haves, and deal breakers.

Yellow legal pad sales skyrocket as high school students weigh the options between college number one and two (and three, four, five, and six).

Caitrin Smith, a Kennebunkport, Maine, native, had a running tally of must-haves. With that list in mind, she took to the Internet, searching for the perfect school.

"One day at work the thought of Montana came into my head," she says. "I Googled colleges in Montana, saw pictures of Billings with the mountains in the background, and discovered that RMC offered everything on my list."

Captivating first impression: check.

Hoping to see that list play out in real life, Caitrin visited campus with her mother. After touring the city and RMC's tree-lined walkways, she was certain about her choice. Caitrin could imagine herself walking those cobbled sidewalks: RMC topped the list.

“I was amazed,” she says. “There is just so much more space. I fell in love with the school."

The spaces around Billings attracted Caitrin, too. In high school, she was involved in tennis, soccer, theatre, and most importantly, skied every weekend possible. RMC's location put Caitrin just over an hour from world-class skiing.

Breathtaking summits and snowy slopes: check.

“I’m very excited to participate in RMC’s outdoor recreation program and explore Yellowstone National Park,” she says. “I am a huge outdoor recreation person.”

But the outdoors won’t just be a pastime for Caitrin at RMC. She’ll have the opportunity to explore the Park on a three-day backpacking trip to the Beartooth Plateau with an environmental studies class.

Creating classrooms outside of four-square walls: check.

Studying environmental science and sociology will allow Caitrin to explore her love for nature and her place in the world.

“I want to gain knowledge about how I affect my environment,” she says. “I believe change is the key to our future and how we sustain ourselves – I want to make change.”

Preparing Caitrin to create a better future: check.