Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Value of Friendships at Ferrum

by Brett W., Panther Blogger

Being a first-semester freshman at a considerably smaller school, I hear a lot of talk about how people don't like the school for many different reasons. The classic one I always hear is that people are "bored." To counter that, I always hear that Ferrum's unofficial slogan is "Boredom is an option."  Then there are the people who say the school is too small and everyone knows everything that happens, or that there is just no variety in activities to do, and that they want to leave. For those students, I am sorry your experience at Ferrum did not live up to what you thought it would be, but for me, it has surpassed anything that I had expected.

First, I literally do not understand how you can be bored and go to this school!  There are so many clubs, intramurals, sports, and just overall campus-wide activities that I have a huge white-board calendar in my room so I can keep track of when everything is happening.  Almost all the time, I have to choose between multiple items because a lot of the activities overlap. When school started getting into full-swing, I even had to cut out some of the clubs and activities I was in so I could make room for school work.

Secondly, I know this does not fit everyone's personality types, but the fact that this is a smaller school lets me know more of the student population, and lets me be known by others; for me, that is amazing. I love walking to class and having people yell "Hey!" at me or just waving frantically across campus at someone I met once.  I love the idea that by senior year, once all of these freshman naysayers leave, the size of our graduating class will allow me to know every single person. To me, that turns us from a class into a family that has struggled through all four years together, through the thick and thin of everything.  Before coming to Ferrum, I thought about going to Virginia Tech, but now that I have been here and have been back to Tech to visit friends, the idea of my class being over 10,000 people and it taking half an hour to walk across campus turns me off completely.

Finally, I cannot possibly fathom the idea of being bored when you have friends here at Ferrum. Immediately after being accepted to Ferrum, I was placed into the Facebook group for the graduating class of 2016.  Long before I even graduated high school, I began to chat with other people who had been accepted and were also coming to Ferrum.  I met a couple of people through that group who I talked to and even Skyped with over the summer.

I became really good friends with one girl, and we hung out a couple of times over the summer and made some amazing stories ("Alright, enough sharing!  I'm the princess!").  I talked with another girl and we ended up doing the Freshman Scholars Program together over the summer at Ferrum, and we are still amazing friends now ("What are you gonna throw at me? STUPID?!").  Over the summer, I talked with one of my great friends now, and we have made some crazy days here on campus that I would never change for anything ("I just knocked over an eggplant! ...That's not an eggplant!").  My roommate, of course, has been awesome considering he listens to all my rambling and laughs at my ridiculous jokes ("The drawer has been open this whole time! ...No, it hasn't!").  And, finally, while being on campus, I have made the best friends in the world as well. You know who you are -- just read the quotes.  ("Go big orangeee!" "I like falling backwards." "Do you even have legs?" "Well, speaking of Amish.")

These friends are my life, and when I'm not super-busy with school work or club activities, I am always with them.  I have learned that even if it has only been a couple months of knowing them, I can count on and trust them with anything I could possibly ever need. So, to incoming freshman or anyone who is thinking about leaving, all I can say is you just need to make awesome friends and your time at Ferrum will be the time of your life.

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