Monday, May 15, 2017

Dear Furman

Dear Furman, 

Ever since starting my college search process you remained to be my top pick. If tuition weren't insanely expensive and I didn't need to wait to see the scholarship offers I think my parents would have told me I would be attending school at Furman just to get me to stop talking about how much I loved it and to have that decision off my chest as a stressor (decision making hasn't ever really been my strong suit). After touring campus on a rainy February day I think my mom was a bit terrified that she was in for a meltdown if Furman didn't live up to expectations and instead had to tell me to stop saying how much I loved it. I would be lying if I said that I loved every moment of my time at Furman though. College is meant to be a learning experience so if I had loved every minute then maybe that is to say that I would've missed out on some of the things I was meant to learn over the past four years. Summing everything up in its entirety is virtually impossible so I know no matter how hard I try I am bound to leave something out but if I had to sum up my experience in a quote I think it would be that "you don't know if you don't try" (with "fake it till you make it" as a close second).

 Had I not taken on this "you don't know if you don't try" mentality even when deciding on where to go I may not have chosen the school 8 hours away where I knew approximately 4 people. In a lot of ways it would have been more comfortable to go somewhere in-state where I knew 1/4th of my graduating class in high school would be. My college experience would've been a lot different had that been the case. I definitely think Furman was the right fit for me when it came to where to spend my undergraduate experience (and they haven't been able to get rid of me for grad school either).

Freshman year feels as though it just happened although I have grown up a lot since then. Nell and I still laugh about those first nights in our dorm room and how we really didn't know each other yet struggle to figure out at what point we really became friends instead of just roommates. We laugh at the fact that we thought our RAs could make hall activities mandatory, peeping through our blinds to watch people outside of our building and getting caught, and those workout routines made to "lipgloss" and "dixieland delight" when we were too lazy to walk to the gym we could see from our window. To think how different my experience could have been with a different roommate had Nell and I not requested one another on the housing survey... "you don't know if you don't try."

Sophomore year was definitely what seemed like the longest year of school. I was exhausted as I was living on a noisy hall with a window that was knocked on more than the door when people forgot their keys. Despite this exhaustion I started to put myself out there by applying to be a part of KD's exec and was able to kick off the summer with my best friend for 3 weeks in Paris and London. Studying abroad wasn't something I had given much thought to since it is hard to do as an education major but as all my friends were applying for semester long trips I figured I may as well look into it and I am so glad that I did.

Junior and Senior years were by far my favorites. I had the most fun while still working the hardest I ever had. I realized it was never too late to make another best friend and that a healthy balance of socializing could combat some of the stress. While people probably still wouldn't look to me for a balance of socializing and studies I am so glad I was able to make the most out of my timed found a balance that worked for me. These years didn't come without challenges but the challenges helped me to grow and really appreciate the more fun moments.

Furman, thank you for everything these past four years. Thank you for helping me to be 100% myself junior and senior year, thank you for that terrible housing placement sophomore year, thank you for changing the food service company senior year and for keeping the cookies just as delicious. Thank you for some of my best friends and fondest memories, thank you for providing me with leadership opportunities and an ability to share my ideas, and thank you for allowing the Starbucks on campus to accept our meal points. Thank you for stressful projects, questioning my major, and allowing me to realize that regardless of what I do in the future I have a strong base to build upon, a network of friends and family to support me, and the Furman bubble to come back to.

So, in a nutshell, here are some additional things I have to thank Furman for:

the most rewarding things I did in college

1. Taking on leadership roles in my sorority.

2. Going way out of my comfort zone during HAVOC.

3. Traveling to Paris and London with my best friend.

4. Keeping up with Prep In Your Step.

5. Learning to love the library. Hear me out on this one... most people hate the library. They hate spending time there and they hate that they feel as though they have to go to the library in order to be productive. Meanwhile, I genuinely love the library and love that for the most part everyone else in there is attempting to work as well. For me, it doesn't feel like a chore to go to the library which gives me a better attitude to be productive than if I disliked it. 

what I'll miss the most

1. Living within walking distance of all of my best friends, classrooms, and dining facilities on arguably one of the prettiest college campuses in the United States (they said it, not me, 4th of 15  ). It's also pretty comforting to know that everyone around you is experiencing the same stage of life with you at the same time and in the same place. 

2. The independence without as much responsibility.

3. Seeing my friends everyday. 

advice to current and future college students

1. Enjoy all of the free stuff and especially enjoy your meal plan.

2. Call your parents. You being away is just as much of a transitions for them as it is for you.

3. Put yourself out there. 

4. Find a balance and don't neglect your own personal health. 

5. Take advantage of actually being on campus. 

so what am I not ready for with the real world

1. Changing my blog's instagram bio from college blogger to something else. 

2. Figuring out how to make meals for myself when I am much too tired. 

3. Knowing when I am supposed to transition to calling my childhood home "my parent's house" instead of "my house" since I technically don't live there anymore.

So although my undergraduate experience is over I am glad that I am still able to consider myself a Furman student for another year as I tackle my Master's Degree. 


  1. Oh, you'll definitely miss seeing your friends everyday. The 9-to-5 life is nowhere as fun!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  2. Congratulations Dorothy! Don't worry I still refer to my parents house as home at 24!


  3. This is so cool! I went to IIT for one year (3rd most beautiful campus) and really missed it! The college experience in Brazil (where I'm from and currently live) is completely different, and I'm so glad I was able to enjoy both! I've been reading your blog for almost four years now, basically since when I got back from the US. It's funny how time seems to fly sometimes. Since then, I graduated and now I'm about to get my second college degree in... Elementary Education! It's been great to see how much you've accomplished and grown in the meantime. Comgratulations for everything! I'm sure you'll be a terrific teacher and your little ones will love you! Best of luck :)

  4. Such an amazing post! I'm finally a senior now in college. It's exciting and scary at the same time to think this is my last year

  5. This is so sweet! You make me excited for my college days.

  6. A very good and informative article indeed . It helps me a lot to enhance my knowledge, I really like the way the writer presented his views. I hope to see more informative and useful articles in future.
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  7. I agree that you will miss having all of your friends steps away but it makes reunions sweeter. Find 2-3 meals that take no time or prep on Sundays and you will be happier during the week. I am 27 and I still call my paren't house 2hrs away home. So I sometimes clarify if I am headed home for the weekend as my home home vs my apartment home. Jess at Just Jess

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