In my final weeks as a Georgia Southern student, I’m going to look back at how each year has defined my life and has led me to where I am today.
The first thing I noticed was the license plates.
There were so many people from different parts of the country, with backgrounds much different than mine. In the parking lot of Johnson Hall, I moved in by myself because my Mom had to work.
Collecting my things into the orange bins, I realized things were going to be different than in my hometown of Bellville, Georgia, population 123.
At home, everyone knew me and all of my life history. Here, I was just another freshman.
I went to a fraternity party with a friend of mine from high school. Never even considering Greek Life, I found it interesting, but didn’t plan to do anything with it.
After a long night of partying, the president at the time convinced me to sign up for rush; he even filled out my online registration.
In the “interview process” you go through during Rush, I overheard someone with the same interests.
We went to IHOP for a late night snack and hit it off quickly. While I didn’t end up getting the bid that what I wanted, I made a friend that would end up sticking by me (2019 revision: he ended up becoming my Director of Photography too).
After a failed Greek attempt, I hung out with my friends from high school. It wasn’t bad. They were my friends after all, but I wasn’t challenged or experiencing growth as an individual. Everything was the same as it was, just in another place.
Soon after, the fraternity reconsidered their decision and invited me to join. So began the process of becoming Greek, and my life changed forever.
Suddenly, I started to see things in a different light, looking at people in different ways, learning to get along with people that I wouldn’t have ever thought about hanging out with otherwise.
I started to participate in community service, leadership activities, and considered getting involved in other organizations my brothers took part.
Some of them were great, and others weren’t for me.
Unlike high school, where you had limited choices, here there was the chance for opportunity and diversity.
The absolutes in life were no longer as clear, with new ideas and viable alternative lifestyles that I had never experienced.
While Johnson Hall doesn’t stand anymore, the principles that surrounded my first impression still stands.
In college, you meet a lot of different people, some who accept you for who you are presently, while others recognize that together, you can become something better.
College becomes like a moving bin; you put things in, you take things out, and sometimes, you don’t have help to guide you. But along the way, you discover that being here means more than what you are.
It means where you happen to be going.