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This guest blog is by current senior Christopher Razo from Chicago, IL.

 

As a high school senior when student gear up to apply for schools and attend campus visits, they are instantly hit with fast facts presented by an admissions counselor trying to sell their respective institute. However, more often then not, students are left confused or simply are not fully attentive to the little things that make up a university and what makes each one unique. Furman University is a place that is no exception, and has several aspects to the institution that students who attend can take advantage of – They just have to find out what those aspects are.

 

First, lets start with what it means for Furman University to be a liberal arts institution. At a liberal arts school like Furman, all students must complete general education requirements (GER) as part of their curriculum. The GER’s include mind and body wellness, textual analysis, natural sciences, math/ formal reasoning, and empirical studies of human behavior, history, ultimate question, foreign language and world culture courses. This aspect of the university grants students the opportunity to find what he or she would like to dive further into during their college experience. I have found this aspect of the school to be vital to the growth of our students. It is okay to not know what you want to do after college or what you would like to major in, the moment that you begin taking courses your freshman year. It is normal and typical for students to be curious and passionate about several subjects before and during their college career. Furthermore, it is common for every student to have had a high school experience that has led him or her to admire and disregard certain subjects. However, due to the numerous supportive and rigorous academic departments students who might have never found interest in science, math, or a foreign language per say, can potentially find that they are in fact interested in those certain subjects. This has been the case for students such as myself and many others who have come to Furman believing they would like to major in pre-law or pre-medicine per say and then found that their true passion and gifts of wisdom lay in subjects such as environmental science, biology, or business.

 

Second, I would like to touch on the importance and potential impacts that Cultural Life Programs (CLP) have on students. While it is a requirement, and the first reaction to being told that we must attend a total of 32 CLP credit events might seem like another thing to add to the checklist, it is in essence an additional aspect of the learning experience. Each CLP has the potential of further educating or presenting students with valuable information that pertains to diverse subject matters and current events. A few of my most memorable CLP’s at the University have included guest professors from the University of Chicago presenting their understanding of political theories, and the former head of the DEA talking on terrorism and narcotic trafficking around our nations borders. The top minds and lead researchers come to Furman and allot their time and wisdom to our students and are open to any questions.

 

Third, the student organizations presence and impact on the all around structure and organization of social life on campus. Furman University is a 100 percent residential institution meaning that all students live on campus all four years. This allows for the student body to form a true sense of familiarity and community among the students of all walks of life. This truly allows for a diverse experience. Furthermore, the small student body allows for professors to become involved with multiple individuals, groups and organizations on a personal level and truly support the students efforts to push organizations forward whether it be to explore science, politics, or to discuss sports.
These are all things that I was told existed at Furman but I did not come to realize these things until I took a step back to reflect on my experiences here. As a Furman student you will be pushed to study and progress more than ever before and it is easy to get caught up in the world of stress and worriedness, however the sooner one takes the time to truly reflect and appreciate the sense of community and opportunities that derive from the institutions connections, your joy truly soars. As a rising senior I have enjoyed my years at Furman and truly do bleed purple!