A College Experience to Remember
It feels almost like yesterday was the first day of my freshman year. I remember it being really strange living 200 miles away from home in a different state. I had made a goal with myself on the first day of school to not go home for the first two months and to join as many things as possible so I could make friends. This is key to any successful college experience. You have to get out there and meet people, even if you are an introvert or an extrovert.
I jumped into my college experience feet first. Right from the beginning, I joined tons of things. Wind Ensemble, Concert Choir, the Fall Musical, Jazz Band, Pep Band, History Club, and I went to chapel regularly. I also got my first job ever working for the marketing department at UJ. I would never have wanted my busy experience any other way.
When your life is packed with things to do you never seem to get bored and you begin to meet so many people. That is the best thing about being on a small campus. You really start to get to know everybody and everybody gets to know you. By sophomore year, I pretty much knew almost everyone! Every time I walked into the Caf, I would find at least someone I knew and I would eat with them. I had a great first year experience at UJ, and so when I became a sophomore, I made sure that the freshman felt just as welcome!
Favorite Memories looking back
There are so many amazing things looking back that I am so thankful for in my experience here at UJ. My all-time favorite would be all the memories I made on music tours. As a freshman, I had the opportunity to travel to Italy with the UJ Concert Choir. This was such a rewarding experience. We went to Venice, Florence, and Rome, as well as many smaller places in between. We performed concerts, sang at restaurants, and even serenaded passengers on a plane. It was such an amazing end to my freshman year and it really made me so excited for the rest of my college career.
The end of my sophomore year was just as exciting as the year before. That year, I was able to travel to Chicago with the UJ Wind Ensemble. The band at UJ truly is the most family-like group on campus. The UJ band was where I made my first friends. Everyone was so welcoming, especially Dr. Lynch. She is so caring, and she always knows exactly what the group is feeling. On this tour, we performed at many schools along the way to Chicago. Once down there, we had nothing less than fun times. I was able to go to Hamilton, see Avengers End Game in IMAX, and visit The Bean! This group of people are so amazing, and my college experience would never have been the same without them.
Finally, my third favorite memory of my college experience was in theater. I have always loved performing from a young age. I remember watching my first musical at age three with my aunt. I always knew that I wanted to continue performing in theater after high school. In the four years that I have been here, I have been in ten shows and I am hoping to be in two more this spring. The best ones probably were the fall musicals. Nothing is better than being in a musical. You get to sing, dance, and have a great time every day! I am so thankful for the experiences that I have had here at the Reiland.
We are living in a very different time right now. No one knows when the pandemic will end and when things will go back to semi-normal. I know through my faith that I just have to trust and pray in the Lord because He knows the plans He has for me in the future.
Next semester, I will begin student-teaching at Jamestown Middle School, and I am so excited! My experience here at Jamestown has been nothing less than amazing. I am so thankful for all that I was able to do and for all the people I have met along the away. UJ, you taught me so much these past four years, and I will use what I have learned for the rest of my life.