Monday, July 28, 2014

Things Change: It's Normal!

by Dannica B., Panther Blogger

Now we all know college is all about education and earning a degree, but we also know social life is a big part of surviving four years of college!  As a first semester freshman, the highlight of my week was watching Love Actually in my dorm room.  Yes, pathetic, right?  I had no social life.  I had friends, but I never really did anything except play Uno with my hall mates.  Every event that took place sounded "lame" and I just wanted the comfort of my bed and the taste of ramen noodles in my mouth.  That was my Friday night.  Yes, I did adventure out of my room sometimes, but nothing extraordinary ever occurred.  I didn't want to do anything and I'm not sure why.  I guess I missed home too much?  Maybe that seemed to be a valid excuse, but in reality, I was scared.  The innocence of my freshman mind couldn't bear the thought of growing up and becoming a responsible adult.

But then it hit me. It was time to grow up, it was time to do that pile of laundry sitting under my bed, and it was time to go to the cafe instead of eating ramen noodles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  It's not easy growing up, but at some point in life, we all have to "cut the umbilical cord" and become an independent person and take responsibility.  The future is going to be different than you imagine, and the friends we have now may no longer be our friends later.  The things we think we like now may turn out to be the things we begin to dislike later and you have to actually leave your dorm room to find who you really are.

My second semester was much better. I got a job, joined a sorority, became a student ambassador and a Panther Blogger, and I got so much more involved with Ferrum College that I felt more at home.  Being more involved with the college you attend makes everything so much easier.  I'm a different person than who I was when I first came to Ferrum. I'm more confident in myself and I put myself out there and became a part of the Ferrum community.  After all, it was the Ferrum community who brought me out of my shell and I couldn't be more thankful!  So remember, things change:  it's normal!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

It's Okay to Be Confused: It's Normal!

by Dannica B., Panther Blogger

As an upcoming freshman, or even as a rising sophomore, junior or senior, things can get pretty stressful.  What classes will I take this semester?  Am I even pursuing the right major for me?  What do I even want to be when I'm older?  Is college even the right thing for me?  Everyone has asked themselves these questions before and many people change their minds numerous times until they are comfortable that they are making the right decision.

As a confused high school graduate, I knew that I was going to graduate from some big university with a business administration degree and a psychology minor, move to Florida, become a wedding planner, and then one day own my own company.  Now as a rising sophomore, I attend my second home, Ferrum College - a beautiful yet quaint and extremely small college with a population of just over 2,000.  I started as a Business major, switched to an Art major, but now I'm a Recreation Leadership major.  So, yes, I guess you could say I have changed my mind a few times and I can promise you it won't be my last time!

You see, times change.  You grow up believing you're going to be one thing then often turn out to be the complete opposite.  It's life and people change their minds even after college. The best advice I can give is do whatever makes you happy, unless it's illegal or morally wrong then I would recommend you think twice!  But if being an art major makes you happy, then do it even if you think you can't make a career out of it because I promise you, if you believe you can, then anything is possible.  If you want to be a star athlete, then go for it. Just remember to keep your GPA intact because after all, education is extremely important.  If being an actress/actor on Broadway is your ultimate dream, then become a theater major despite what anyone thinks.

At the end of the day, you're going to college for four years and if you're taking classes that you hate and pursuing a major that you know deep down inside isn't right for you, then what's the point?  And if you can't make up your mind, don't panic. It's okay to have doubts, and it's okay to change your mind. There are people to help.  Go to your adviser, your parents, your friends, your mentors, or even your pet goldfish named Fred and talk to them (even if your fish doesn't talk back).  Ferrum has a great support system if you get out to seek help!  I got a lot of help from my professors, peers, and especially from my adviser, Mrs. Smith.  There are people here to advise you down the right path, but just remember that at the end of the day, it's you who has to make your own decisions.  I know it seems like it'd be easier if someone made them for you, but unfortunately, that's not how life works.  It's okay to be confused - it's normal!

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Big Finale!

By Blake S., Panther Blogger

Well everyone, this is it! This will be my last blog post as a Ferrum College Panther Blogger. Graduation will be coming up in only two days, and I am just as excited as I could possibly be to walk across the stage and have my diploma handed to me. My time as a student here at Ferrum College is finally coming to an end, and I've got to say that it has been one of the most exciting, yet challenging times in my life. As I've said many times before, being a successful college student is not an easy task. However, with the right kind of people in your life, this task can be much easier to accomplish. For that exact reason, I would like to dedicate this final blog post to everyone who has helped me to become successful in my college career here at Ferrum College.

To begin, I would like to thank everyone who has given me an opportunity to excel and gain a little work experience that will help make me a more competitive applicant for job opportunities as well as graduate school programs. I would like to thank Dr. Michaela Gazdik, who allowed me to perform independent microbiological research projects in her laboratory, as well as gain experience in presenting at professional conferences. Also, I would like to thank both Dr. Laura Grochowski and Dr. Katie Goff for allowing me to be their Organic Chemistry tutor and Anatomy & Physiology practicum student this past year. These positions provided me with the opportunity to help students and gain insight into the profession of being a teacher and a leader. I would also like to give another shoutout to Alyson Brackin, the Residence Hall Educator of Basset Hall, and my boss. I have learned a lot from having the position of being a resident assistant, and the work experience and connections that I have made as a result of this position are priceless. And finally, I can't forget Letisha Houston, who has provided me with this great opportunity to be a Panther Blogger and gain valuable skills in the field of communication and writing. I would also like to thank all of my professors here at Ferrum College for the help and knowledge that they have provided me with over the past two years.

Although the professors and staff here at Ferrum College are the foundation for becoming a successful college student, I would not have been able to make it through college without the help of my friends and family. You have all been there for me anytime that I became stressed out or just needed somebody to talk to. I attribute many of my accomplishments to you, and I know that if it was not for your help and motivation, I would not be where I am today.

I would like to conclude my last blog post with a "Thank You" to everyone in the Ferrum College community for making me a part of the Ferrum College family. I can surely testify that Ferrum College is an excellent institution to gain a great education, make great friends, and achieve great success. It has been a great pleasure being a Panther Blogger, and I hope that I was able to motivate and provide some great insight into the life of a college student to others. I will see you all around!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My Last Blog Before Returning to Ireland!

by Chris L., Panther Blogger

Hey, everyone!  What's the craic?

So, this is my last blog post as I will be returning home on Friday. I am so excited to go home to see all my friends and family.

My year at Ferrum College went so quickly, it's a shame I can't stay for another year. This semester particularly went extremely fast mainly due to all the snowy days we had. I am enjoying the weather we are currently getting, however, I am looking forward to the good old Irish rain when I get home.

All the international students got bored one day, so we decided to have a water balloon fight. This was very fun as it was a hot day and the water cooled us down.

Recently, two international students and I wrote a report about how to improve the international student experience when they are studying at Ferrum. We wrote this report so that faculty members could become aware of ways to improve the student experience for the next international students. The main area for improvement we found from our report was to have international students to live with American students so that we get more opportunities to hang out with Americans and form stronger friendships with them. So, next semester, it has been suggested that international students will live with Americans, and I think this will make the whole experience a lot better!

This past Saturday, I was very grateful that Dr. Basu offered to take me and three other international students out for the day. He took us on a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway so we could see the view and then go to Roanoke to eat some Indian food. It was great to get off campus for awhile and I appreciate all that Dr. Basu has done during the past year for us and I would just like to say thanks to him!

Thanks to everyone for making my year at Ferrum College a pleasant one. Who knows, maybe in the future, I will be able to come back to visit.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Break Time!

by Blake S., Panther Blogger

My sisters and I at the South Holston Lake Dam
One of my most favorite parts about being a college student is being able to go home and see my family over breaks. Although it is a great experience to move away from home to attend college and gain some skills associated with responsibility, it is always nice to get to travel home and see the ones that you love. For me, I always look forward to going home and spending time with my sisters.

View from the top of the South Holston Lake Dam

Every week before a break begins, my sisters and I plan out the activities that we want to do.  Our recent Easter break was a blast, and my sisters and I did a number of different things. These included going hiking on a park trial, going to the movies, and driving to the South Holston Dam in Tennessee to spend the evening. Although it was a short break, it was worth every moment, and I will remember every moment because of how enjoyable it was!

As graduation approaches, I get more and more excited for the time that I will be able to spend with my family on a daily basis, rather than seeing them only once a month. However, I am also starting to wonder what it will be like when I move away from my friends and the professors that I have become close with over the past two years. I can easily say that I will be sad to leave Ferrum College and all of the memories that I have made here, but I am also thrilled for the new ones that I will be making when I move back home.

Our family pet, Levi (A.K.A. Tinkey Winkey),
sleeping in one of my hats.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Opportunities and Hard Work Pay Off!

by Paige R., Panther Blogger 

Over the past week and a half, I’ve been honored to receive recognition for my academic and extracurricular endeavors at Ferrum College. At the beginning of last week, I received the Minds-in-Medicine pin, a Lions mug, and Lions Branch Club certificate.

On Friday at Ferrum’s Academic Awards Ceremony, I received the award for Outstanding Student in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics as well as the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award.

With Dr. Goff for the Minds-n-Medicine Club Award
With Dr. Braaten for the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award

With Dr. Braaten for the NSM Award
At the SGA Awards Banquet earlier this week, the Minds-N-Medicine Club (a club in which I’ve served as president for the past school year) was awarded Club of the Year for 2013-2014.  Yesterday, I learned that an article I co-wrote with a Ferrum professor was listed as one of the top articles for the journal in 2013!

Thank you to my wonderful professors, the faculty and staff, my friends, and my family who made all of this possible. It becomes clearer to me every day that I picked the best school possible to call home for three years. The opportunities I’ve had at Ferrum College would not have been possible at another institution. Thank you so much to everyone who has made my time at Ferrum superb!