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What’s the first thing you think of when you think of your high school or college?
Many would guess that Furman would spark the image of the iconic bell tower on swan lake, a studious student working in the library, a classic college dorm room, a crowded dining hall, the beautiful purple landscaping, or the view of the chapel and fountains standing on the porch of the library. Although all these things exist at Furman, I have recently realized that my view of Furman is not about a specific person, view, event, or landmark. When I think of Furman University, I picture an array of people. People who come from different backgrounds, people who are involved in different student organizations, people with different academic interests, people of different ages, and people with a common interest… to succeed AND to make sure that their peers can succeed. I picture a group of people who make Furman what it is today. When I am away from campus, I don’t miss the bell tower or the library… I miss the people. Whether it’s a friend who offers to stay up late with you while you’re studying for a tough exam, the professor who schedules meetings with you to make sure that you understand the material when you’re struggling, the anonymous person who folds all of your laundry for you and sets it on top of the machine, the friendly Dining Hall staff that never forget to wish you a good day, or the upperclassmen who gives you advice on which classes to take next semester, people at Furman are there for each other. It’s hard to fall through the cracks at Furman because there are so many people looking out for you all the time.
The past weekend was Easter weekend. We didn’t have classes on Friday or on Monday so that students could go home to be with their families for the holiday. I decided to stay for part of the break so that I could get a head start on studying for exams. My exam schedule is slightly intimidating this semester. I only have about two weeks left on campus before I’ll be home anyway, so I decided to take the time to get ahead. Being here on campus for two days without hardly any students allowed me to be productive, but also made me realize that Furman is really not the same without the study body here.
Thinking about this concept made me realize how silly it is that we choose colleges based on so many criteria. Statistics, national rankings, acceptance rates, average SAT scores, campus housing, academic resources, dining hall reviews, location, tuition, or even the campus don’t have the kind of impact on students that the people do. I realize that it’s difficult to know and understand the people at a school until you are a part of that student body, but it is definitely something to keep in mind while visiting colleges and making decisions about where you want to spend the next chapter of your life.
Luckily, I did get to drive to my cousins house for Easter. It was great to catch up with my family again!
E-mail me with questions or comments please! Kjersti.firstname.lastname@example.org