November 5, 2009
I attended a college fair at my high school. I had been pretty set on going to Sewanee, but then I came to one very interesting booth. The booth was for Lees-McRae College. It was the last booth I visited, mainly because I was so drawn to it. I knew straight away that Lees-McRae College would be the college for me. I hadn’t even been talking to the college representative for more than fifteen minutes before I had made up my mind.
April 22, 2012
Nearly two and a half years later, I’m finishing up my freshman year at LMC! And man, what a year it has been!
So what has my wild adventure been through? Well, November of 2009 was my junior year of high school at Ooltewah High School in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Junior year was fun and flew by. Summer flew by even faster. Senior year started, and not even eight days into my senior year, I applied to Lees-McRae College. In October of 2010, I received my acceptance letter to Lees-McRae. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. After that, my senior year rushed by. Graduation came and blew me off my feet. I graduated and the next milestone of my life was complete. A summer job at Walmart kept me occupied between graduation and move-in day to LMC.
August 12-13, 2011
I said goodbyes to friends and moved into my dorm room in Tennessee Dorm, Room 308. Shell-shocked was an understatement. College was a huge step-up from my previous life.
Move-in was a breeze and I settled in right away. I made friends really easily, and I got plugged in super easily and super quickly. I started working with the Student Government on campus. I became the Freshman Class Treasurer, and I helped with events like Homecoming. I also got involved with Campus Ministry, which gave a big influence to my life here on campus. I made most of my close friendships through LifeGroups, Worship On Wednesdays, CLUTCH, and Six O’ Five. The Campus Ministry gave me wonderful opportunities to help this community. I worked through the Presbyterian Church with an organization called Feeding Avery Families, and with Operation Christmas Child. Through the group at Mount Calvary Church, I went on a super fun trip to Orlando to Rock The Universe, a Christian rock festival. Coming to Lees-McRae, I became a part of the cycling team. Riding with the team and working at the on-campus cycling events was a blast and extremely fun. I also got involved briefly with Quidditch, the Harry Potter Fan Club basically. One of the most fun things I got involved with was working in the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Even though it isn’t part of my major, I go down to the center and volunteer my time because I love animals. Growing up in South Africa really let my love for animals shine. Working in the rehab center was both educating and rewarding to myself. I really enjoy spending 4 to 6 hours of my week down there.
And that was only the first semester…
Second semester was just as awesome as the first. I continued to develop friendships, worked with the campus ministry, volunteered at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, and helped with the cycling team. I also experienced a fair helping of snow and skiing. For Spring Break, I was given a wonderful opportunity – I spent my Spring Break in Miami, Florida on mission trip through Mount Calvary Baptist Church. Through this mission trip, we helped churches, after-school programs, homeless ministry, and college ministries. It was an eye-opening trip and I learned a lot about myself on the trip. I had so much fun hanging out with friends in my spare time between classes and other campus events. I experienced things that I never thought I would, including hiking mountains for fun. Even the late nights of singing and strumming in Rock Band were worth it…
The greatest part of my Lees-McRae Experience has been the friendships I have made here. Friendship to me is a gift given with great care. Certainly my choice of friends exemplifies that I am surrounded by wonderful people who share my interests and are willing to help serve this community. If it weren’t for my friends, Lees-McRae would just be a place to earn a degree. All the laughs, all the late nights, all the fun, all the jokes, all the times spent together – it was definitely worth it! I have made friendships here that will last me a lifetime.
As I reflect on my first year at Lees-McRae, I cannot disagree with the amazing decision I made to come here. I do not regret it in any way. Well, back to textbooks! Exams start in six days!
-Jason, The African