Wednesday, August 19, 2015

What College My Professors Have Taught Me

Dr. Thornton taught me that I CAN do it. Whatever it is, no matter how LITERALLY IMPOSSIBLE it seems, if I just put my head down and conquer one step at a time, I WILL get to the end. I cannot thank him enough for such a valuable life skill.

Mrs. Parker inspired me in one of my darkest times. Fall of my freshman year, when I was angry and jaded and lonely and depressed, she brought the light of Words back to me. Her untarnished passion for stories ignited joy from the center of my heart. She Loved words with a capital L and her Love could not help but overflow to all her students. I am convinced that every single student left her class with a better appreciation of language. I will never forget how much she meant to me and encouraged me.

Dr. Stanke taught me the powerful beauty of genuinely engaging with people and committing them to memory.

Mr. Salsbury taught me how to understand what a professor wants from me. He taught me the value of going to your professors' offices and letting them help you. He taught me that sometimes, people just want you to read their minds and you have to figure out how to do that. I believe this to be another valuable skill as I seek post-graduation employment XD

Dr. Peterman taught me the value of mentor relationships. She taught me that I am allowed to speak like an adult and be treated like an adult. She taught me the benefit of building goodwill and actually trying your best. She's taught me that Loving and playing with words does not have to be an artsy-fartsy, wishy washy, gray area, but can be an exciting, clever, and concrete world that requires agile intellect and logical thinking skills. She helped me wed my love of beauty with my love of reason.

Dr. McNair reminded me how much fun it is to surprise people with kind-spirited irony.

Dr. Dunnum taught me to See words deeper, to look not only below the word's surface, but behind and beside and above it. He taught me to ask deeper, bigger questions. He taught me to ask How? and then prove it. He taught me to ask Why? and then try to find the answer. And he taught me that not finding the answer does not constitute a failure.

Dr. Morefield taught me how to love books better. He taught me to savor the language, the story, and the people (good characters are not just "characters," but real people to be understood). Reading Emma in his class was probably the most fun I've ever had reading for school.

Dr. Truffin taught me that having wild style does not preclude being hired as a professional. She taught me how to be professional without compromising or apologizing for who you are. She taught me how to facilitate discussion, be an active listener, appreciate others' work, and participate in great arguments.

Dr. Schroeder taught me that it is possible to get an A in a class where it is allegedly impossible to get an A. He taught me the most Greek I've ever learned in one place, which basically makes him my hero. He taught me to wrestle with FREAKING HUGE ideas and come out sane. He taught me to love Aristotle even more. I only had one class with him (Ancient Political Thought), but it is one of my favorite classes of all time. I can't even describe how cool it was.

Dr. Poe taught me that not all psychologists are the same, and that if I ever go to one, I want him/her to be like her.

I honestly believe that I could not have gotten a better education anywhere else.

~Stephanie

Thursday, August 13, 2015

No Regrets

"O let not Time deceive you / You cannot conquer Time."

As I sit here, about to do laundry and get some stuff together for school, I feel like writing. I don't have any complete thoughts to share, just a lot of fragments. At least, I think they are fragments. You know how I get when I write: one thought will sometimes keep unfolding before my fingers until it's a real post. Right?

In three days, I will move into college for the last time. I know everyone always says this, but seriously, how was it three whole years ago that I moved in as a freshman? I was so...unhappy. I wasn't excited to be going to Campbell at all. I was mad at the perceived failure of not going to Wake Forest. I was jaded by my weird romantic relationship. I was lost in my spiritual life. It was awful. You could not pay me enough money to go back to freshman year.

{Of course, my roommate, Bekah, was actually awesome. We went to bed at the same time, watched the same TV shows, liked the room at the same temperature, listened to the same music, needed the same motivation to go to the gym. She was gorgeous and funny and did not care for drama. I'm convinced it was the most successful random roommate pairing of all time. But other than her, life as a freshman mostly sucked.}

But now? Now I am Happy.

My suite mates are the college girl friends everyone promised I would find. They're the people who will go with me to Walmart at 2 o'clock in the morning because I need frozen pizza. They're the people who will just sit down in the hallway with me and hang out there because I'm too stressed and depressed to make it to the living room. They're the people who I can take stupid BuzzFeed quizzes with for hours. They're the people whose opinions matter to me, whether about my earrings or dinner decision or my boyfriend.

I hope I will be friends with them for the rest of my life; but if I'm not, if we drift apart and fall out of contact, I will still never forget them. I will look back on "college" and hear us laughing and feel us walking across campus and remember us dancing and smile at our late night talks.

Gosh, I'm going to miss them. I'm going to miss congregating in one our rooms to pick out clothes for the next day. I'm going to miss "family dinners" where Harley makes chicken or spaghetti and the rest of us throw together some sides. I'm going to miss movie nights where we talk over most of the dialogue. I'm going to miss messing with each other and memorizing all the weird quirks and habits to make living together as easy as possible.

I'm not sure what the point of this post is. Reminiscing, I guess. But it could also serve as a reminder to y'all and to my future self that things get better. Freshman year sucked. But I didn't run away; I stuck it out, and my life is beautiful now.

If I had left Campbell, every single thing about my life would be different. I wouldn't have my suite mates, I probably wouldn't be dating Gem, and I wouldn't have had such amazing professors and therefore an amazing education. I wouldn't have had the same internships or tutoring experience or copy editing position at the paper.

Everything is worth it. My one real regret in life, the one thing I've said I would change (not getting into Wake Forest) ceased to be a regret. It is hard to say that given a do-over I wouldn't apply to Wake Forest. But it is a no-brainer to say that I am overjoyed to have gone to Campbell.

Senior year, I'm {getting} ready for you.


~Stephanie