Athens State – One Small Step for Your Wallet, One Giant Leap for Your Future

By Amanda Cates

Athens State University

As graduation inches closer, I am beginning to reflect more on my college experience – particularly here at Athens State. I started college immediately after my high school graduation. I knew that I would be in college for at least four years because I decided to pursue a career in secondary English Education. I did not want to waste any time. I spent the first two years of college at Wallace State. I made the decision to begin at a community college because I believed this would be the best way to make the adjustment from high school to college. Wallace is only thirty minutes from my home, so I would be able to commute without living in a dorm. Also, many of my high school friends planned to attend, and I had classes scheduled with a few. I enjoyed participating in the Sigma Kappa Delta honor society and talking with my English Professor about my career choice. Before I realized, it was time to choose another institution to complete my degree.

I already knew that I would enroll at Athens State, but this decision was mainly made on the price of registration. Athens has a much lower overall cost for courses than other universities in the state. I live an hour and a half away from Athens, so I had never seen the university. I remember the first time I saw Athens State. I could not believe how small Athens was compared to Wallace. I kept thinking, this is it? However, I soon came to realize that the small size of the school is one of its greatest charms. Classrooms are not overcrowded, and I established real, personal relationships with my instructors. It is an area where everyone knows one another, and you can easily become involved in the close-knit community. The campus is also a beautiful place to enjoy. My favorite building is Founders Hall. I relish the 1800s. It has always been my favorite era, and Founders Hall was built in 1842. It is amazing to step into the past each time I enter this building!

Athens also offers a range of online courses, and I am thankful for these opportunities. While I would much rather take a face-to-face course, the drive to Athens is not too friendly on my gas tank. The ability to take courses online has been enormously beneficial. Even in an online class, the professors are always willing to help in any way possible. In some courses, instructors post lecture videos; this helps the course feel more like a face-to-face class. There are always opportunities to engage with my professors and classmates.

Another advantage that Athens offers is the ability to take courses at other colleges. I was able to take several Athens classes at Wallace. This eased the transition from Wallace to Athens because I was partly traveling to both institutions. I also knew some of my classmates because they had transferred from Wallace as I had, and we were able to take these classes together. The Athens department located at Wallace has phenomenal faculty members.

My time at Athens is quickly approaching an end, but I am so pleased to say that I will be an Athens State alumnus. The campus may be small, but it is a beautiful place to be when away from home. I have loved the sense of community that Athens has presented, and I will never forget the relationships with my professors. All of my classes and professors have impacted my life in such a way that I know I will be successful in my future.
By Amanda Cates, Major – B.A. in English Licensure and Certification