My Athens State story began in the Fall of 2011 after Athens awarded me a full-tuition academic scholarship. I had looked at several other universities, but I loved the way Athens State felt like a private college without the private college costs! The classes were cozy with only 13-25 students per class which allowed for lots of one on one, and the teachers were so in tuned with student strengths and needs.
I made many close friends while living in Athens, and enjoyed the community as much as the college. Festivals are held monthly on the square downtown, and even when there’s not a festival, it’s easy to walk from the campus to Pablo’s for a sandwich, the park for tennis, or to the Athens state lifelong learning center where pottery and painting lessons are often available. Many times before classes, I would drop by the library and take advantage of the writing center, or go to the Undergrounds Café and enjoy a latte while studying.
After one year at Athens I interviewed to become an Athenian Ambassador and enjoyed one of the busiest years of my life. I got some great leadership experience through working the fiddler’s convention, giving campus tours, hosting dinners in the Athens State ballroom, and decorating the president’s home for Christmas. I also interviewed in 2012 for Ms. Athens State Merry Christmas and won! Being Ms. Athens State Merry Christmas was so much fun!!
Yes, I developed my interview skills, my professionalism through the events I got to attend, but let’s be real the book store gave me $200 dollars in book bucks and I got to dress up like it was prom! The best parts was that the pageant never felt like a competition, since I knew the girls and aside from those book bucks, we were all there having fun. I was involved in the Sigma Tau Delta English honor society too, again with people that I had classes with and the year was filled with craziness, including a Halloween party at Dr. Elmore’s house that still makes me smile.
I could probably talk for pages about how Athens State helped me grow as a person and a professional, but the truth is that I love Athens State for much more than that. When I graduated I respected my teachers for pushing me so hard, but I also cared about them as friends and colleagues. The student body felt like family, the café smelled like homework, the alumni office smelled like adventure, the library felt like long nights…. The campus and the city was home. I don’t think anyone could spend time on the campus and not feel that way.