Monday, August 27, 2012

The Closing Ceremony - Really a Goodbye?

(Brett was one of two students who worked on the Habitat Use and Activity Patterns of Reptiles and Amphibians in Relation to Temperature and Humidity project with faculty mentor Dr. Todd Fredericksen during the inaugural Freshman Scholars Program in summer 2012.)

by Brett W., Freshman Scholar and Guest Blogger

For Friday, August 10th, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., the schedule showed that there would be a Final Poster Session and closing ceremony in the Grousbeck 2nd floor lounge. To everyone else, this might have seemed like a "goodbye," but not for me. For example, say you see something amazing through the window of a door. You walk through that door to go into the amazing new world, but once you leave it, you close the door behind you on the way out. Although you have left, I don’t think you ended it; you’ve just simply moved on. That’s what happened in the Grousbeck 2nd floor lounge on August 10.

Throughout the twelve amazing days in the Freshman Scholars program, I worked alongside my roommate, friends, colleagues, and future professors to ultimately collect data for my project, which built up to creating the final poster and my presentation of it. In just those few days though, I did more than just work alongside those people; I grew close to them – every single one – students and professors alike. By doing so, the experiences I shared with them will remain with me throughout all of college, and for some, the rest of my life.

Therefore, when 9 a.m. on August 10 rolled around and I was interviewed by Ferrum Admissions about my project and how the week had gone, I was talking about more than just the science behind the project or the technicalities of the trip; I was talking about my life experience and how much this program meant to me. I was talking about my project to the professors, deans, provost, and president as more than just a program participant though: I was talking to them as friends.

A lot of people might want to walk back through the door they just closed because they are scared of what is in the new world. Originally, they were drawn to the amazing opportunities they saw available, but now what? What if something goes wrong? I might have felt this way. I might have felt as if I was saying goodbye to the world I just left, but I don’t feel that way because I have friends now to help me through this new world I’ve just entered; friends who will stay with me along the way.

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