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Things I'm Thankful I Did In College

It's currently Furman's homecoming week and it's making me reminiscent of this time of year on Furman's campus.

Homecoming week was always the best. Typically the cooler weather has somewhat set in, football season is in full swing, and the campus is shades of oranges and reds. There are many fun traditions and too many activities to fit in your schedule. It was always one of the busiest (yet best) weeks of Fall semester. 

I remember spending hours sitting outside between classes pomping my sorority's float, helping chalk in our mural, and of course, my favorite tradition, swing dancing under the oaks at midnight every year (fun fact: that was where Emory and I first swing danced freshman year!).

I'm headed back this Saturday to visit the campus and see everyone who is coming back for the occasion. 

All this got me thinking about how special my time at Furman was. There were no doubts up and downs but luckily way more ups and than downs. I look back and am so thankful for the expereince I had and all the people I was lucky enough to meet. 

There are a few things that really stick out from my undergrad years that I'm so thankful I did and really made my college expereince was it was. I was thinking about the topic on my way back from my spontaneous concert trip last week and thought I would share them!


1. Took Classes Outside My Major

When I first got on campus freshman year all I wanted was to take classes in my major and take them as soon as possible. I was so excited to dive into topics I was interested in, understandably, and thought I wouldn't enjoy any other classes outside of my major as much as I would love my com classes.

However, by sophmore year I realized that while I love my communication study classes I wanted to diversify my schedule a bit. Graphic design was always something I was interested in, and knew the basics about it through running my blog, but it was something that I wanted to learn even more about. I signed up for Graphic Design I, not knowing what I was getting myself into at all, and soon realized it was by far my favorite class.

I took an art class just about every semseter after that and boy am I so thankful I did. I learned so much about myself and about what I love doing. Plus having some knowledge about adobe programs like Indesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator in my graduate program have been priceless.

I encourage everyone to take classes outside of their major. You may find something you're really passionate about and it's never too late to explore other interests. 

2. Held Leadership Positions

I was apart of a variety of clubs and organizations throughout my 4 years but the ones that really had an impact on me were the ones that I held leadership positions in. I had a small position in my sorority my sophomore year and then decided to take on the large role of panhellenic president my Junior/ Senior year.

It was by far one of the hardest/ most rewarding challenges I've ever taken on. However through the stress of planning recruitment for hundreds of girls, presiding over 7 sororities, planning endless events, running countless meetings, answering multiple emails a day, it was all so worth it. 

When my term came to an end I realized how much I had grown as a leader and how much more confident I was about planning events and running meetings. All valuable skills I woudn't have gotten so many chances to practice without that leadership position.

3. Study Abroad

I've known since high school that I wanted to study abroad. It was kind of a non netigotionable for me and it was always more a matter of when than if. After living in Germany for 3 years in middle school I always knew I wanted to go back to Europe and I knew studying abroad was the perfect way excuse.

I honestly can't say enough good things about my expereince. I love Europe and I love traveling so spedning an entire semester in Northern Italy traveling to a new country every weekend was my dream come true. While it was hard to leave my friends and Furman for a whole semester I would do it again and again. 

4. Got To Know Administration

Part of the reasons Furman felt so much like a community was not only becuase of the engaging and welcoming professors, but also becuase of the administration and faculty that helped run the school. I loved getting to know all the administrators in the student life office and honestly wish I would have made an effort eariler.

It was so nice to know who to ask all your questions to and to know even more friendly faces on campus. It was comforting to know who to ask for advice and who to go to when I was struggling with something. Plus knowing all the scoop of what was happening on campus didn't suck either.

5. Internships

I know most students already know this but I'm realizing how valuable all the interships I did in college are post grad. They really helped me narrow down exactly what I want to do and even though it took putting up with long days during summer, it totally paid off in the end. 

Even the internships I hated taught me what I didn't want to do! I get emails constanly about how to land great internships and I suggest starting early, emailing everyone and anyone you think might have a connection, visiting your school's internship office, and doing some intense googling. 


6. Independent Study

I did an independent study my last semester of senior year. It involved me writing my own syllabus and picking a faculty member to facilitate my learning. 

I chose a communication professor who I had had my sophomore year and specialized in digital media. I got to learn about so many things that truly interested me and I looked forward to our  meetings every week and loved the conversations we were able to have. I learned so much more about what I was passionate about and having one on one attention to facilatate this learning was such a special and unique experience. 


7. Ambassador

I started in my school's ambassador program my freshman year. I was deathly terrfied of the interview process and almost used it as an excuse not to apply. Thankfully I didn't because it was one of my favorite activites I did every week.

As an ambassador at Furman you work for the admissions office giving tours to prospective students every week and working other admission events throughout the school year. On a busy day when I was stressed about homework or a test, a tour was honestly always the last thing I wanted to do. But I was always shocked how happy I was at the end of every tour.

Taking an hour showing off your campus and sharing with others what you love about your school always served as a great little reminder how happy I was at Furman and never failed to leave me in a better mood. The most rewarding part of course was always when a younger student came up to me on campus and told me that I was the one who gave them their first tour. <3 

What are the things you're the most thankful you did in college?! 

Remember,

xoxo

Shan
 

 

1 comment

  1. As a current freshman, I loved reading this as I look at where I want to dedicate my time in college!

    xoxo,
    Katie
    chicincarolina.blogspot.com 

    ReplyDelete