Thursday, October 2, 2014


by Laken P., Panther Blogger

As I am caught in the bittersweet moment of my third and final year at Ferrum, I have truly realized how my short time here has greatly impacted my life as a whole. Facing the uncertainty of the future, along with the memories of the past has led me to think about what has made the past few years ones that I will never forget. A reflection of the life experiences I will take away with me at graduation can easily be broken into FERRUM -- a word that is more than just a school name but is also a major part of my life.

Family. There is a quote that reads, "Here's to the nights that turned into mornings, with the friends that turned into family."  Here at Ferrum College, the "Ferrum Family" isn't just a concept we tell potential students to sell them on our great school; it's an actual pure and raw state that can be felt from the first few weeks on campus and well into alumni status. The common bond of Panther Pride connects each of us, making Ferrum the tight-knit community that it is. Since I have been here, I have met so many wonderful people that make me wonder how I ever made it through the first part of my life without them. Whether it's my roommates, Greek family, club members, or study groups, the people I have met on this campus have truly become some of my closest friends. Every year, another graduation pulls some of us apart, but it is nice to know that we will always be a part of the Ferrum family and have each other to lean on for the rest of our lives.

E-term. One of the best experiences I have had not only at Ferrum, but in my whole life, was the opportunity to travel abroad with a Ferrum E-term (Experiential Term) class. I took an Environmental Science class where we traveled to Ireland to study the culture, heritage, landmarks, and natural history.  We flew into Dublin and spent time traveling around the entire country learning about the rich history of Ireland.  I learned more than I ever have in any other class because I was able to learn the material by visiting landmarks, meeting people from other countries, and experiencing life outside of America. Without this opportunity that Ferrum provided to take an E-term course, I probably would have never had a chance to visit and explore Ireland and Northern Ireland in the way that I did this past summer.  The class and trip are definitely something that I will talk about and treasure for the rest of my life as I hold close the memories of kissing the Blarney Stone, seeing Fungie the Dolphin, walking to the edge of the Cliffs of Moher, climbing the Giants Causeway, and feeding baby sheep - just to name a few!

Recruitment. I thoroughly enjoy being an Admissions Ambassador and Panther Blogger as they are both ways for me to personally connect with potential students long before they ever decide to make Ferrum their home. Sharing my stories and experiences allow me to open up and give potential students a glimpse of Ferrum that propels well beyond an official visit or a website of information.  One of the most important factors in choosing a school is finding a place you can call home, and I am honored that I am able to help future students make that decision. As an Admissions Ambassador, I have given countless campus tours, listened to personal stories and backgrounds, and answered any and all questions that arise. Watching a parent's eyes light up when they realize that their child has found a new home for the next few years is an experience that I wouldn't trade for anything. From athletic recruits, special guests, future students, and other special campus events, I gladly step up to tell everyone what makes this place so special. I sometimes have too much to say simply because I love this school and everything about it so much!

Responsibility. Everyone says a college is the time to truly discover yourself, learn what you are meant to do in life, and work hard to achieve your goals. When you pick a major, throw in extracurricular activities, meal times, hours of homework, athletic practices and time to sleep, sometimes it seems like you won't even make it through the day, much less the whole semester or year.  In my time here, I have learned that college is the place where the days drag on for what seems like forever, but the weeks and months fly by. It seems like only a few days ago that I was at home too excited to sleep because I knew I would be moving into my first dorm room the next day. Looking back on the short two years that I have been here, I cannot believe I am facing my senior year of college.  I opened my mailbox the other day to find an application for graduation; that's when it hit me that my undergraduate career is almost over. In the time since my first semester here, I have definitely noticed a change in the way I study, finish my homework, and schedule out my days ahead of time. I have used the skills and resources provided to me to work and ensure that I get a little better each semester. Responsibility is a skill that must be developed in each individual person, but Ferrum does an excellent job of helping guide students to their goals through Freshman Gateway courses, senior capstones, advisor meetings, and professional prep classes.

Unicorns. Of all my campus activities and organizations, my favorite is my sorority, Delta Phi Epsilon, whose international mascot is the unicorn. Being a sister of Ferrum's first national Greek organization has brought me some of my closest friends, helped me become a part of something so much bigger than myself, and allowed me constant opportunities to give back to the community. Within the sorority, I have found roommates, best friends, future bridesmaids, study partners, role models, and mentors all while being involved in something that has made me a better and well-rounded person. Delta Phi Epsilon chartered on Ferrum's campus in 2011 and has continued to grow each and every semester. Being a member of an international organization allows for the opportunity to network with alumni, find sisters all across the world, and work hard to raise funds for our philanthropies. We raise money and awareness for our official philanthropies, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) and Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD), as well as to contribute to the campus and local community. I can't believe that I only have a semester and a half left on campus with my sisters and fellow unicorns, but I know that no matter where I am in the world, they will always be there loving and supporting me.

Mentor. I am involved in many clubs and organizations on campus, and I hold a leadership role in several of them. I am the Vice President of Academic Affairs for Delta Phi Epsilon, Secretary of the Minds-n-Medicine club, and a member of the Honors Advisory Council for the Boone Honors Program.  I also serve as a mentor for the Gateway seminar that freshmen take each fall. Through the opportunities that Ferrum has given me to step up and be a leader, I feel more confident going into the rest of my life with experience and knowledge. There are so many clubs and organizations on campus that allow students to be a member and/or student leader - there really is something for everyone. Becoming involved is one of the best ways to expand horizons, build resumes, and meet new people, and I'm so glad I have been able to take advantage of it all in my short time here!

No comments:

Post a Comment