I am currently a junior at Clemson University, majoring in marketing with a minor in communication studies. During my first semester, I rushed and joined Chi Omega (Greek life is huge in the south!). This year, I began working at the golf course on Clemson’s campus. I also enjoy volunteering once a week at a local tutoring center, helping middle school students with their homework. I’m pictured above with Daniela Robles ‘13, Christina Gallo ’ 3, Anne Barnes ’13, Molly McNamara ‘13, Emily Handy ‘13, and Bridget Brady ‘13. We are all studying abroad in Florence together this semester. I am glad to be reunited in Florence with my friends from OLP. No matter how far away we go for college, we always find our way back to each other.
One of the greatest perks of going to college is embracing change. For me, that came in several forms. Change is going from a small private school to a 15,000 student public university all the way across the country in South Carolina. Change is going from cheering every day for four years to struggling to make it to the gym. Change is going from knowing everyone in your class to not knowing a single soul. Change is living in the comfort of your own home to learning to live with a complete stranger. And most importantly, change is accepting that you will change your mind about almost anything and everything when you get to college!
For me, a huge change was switching my major freshman year (after only a single semester) from biochemistry to business marketing. A message to all OLP students: it is okay to change your mind; in fact, it is perfectly normal to change it many times. I thought I wanted to work in a science lab for the rest of my life, but that quickly changed as I took my first chemistry and biology classes. I took an academic interest and personality test at the career center and discovered what my parents had been telling me all along—business was the right path for me. While it may be stressful and confusing, just know that it always works out in the end, even if it isn’t what you were planning for. Don’t fret, because God has a plan for all of us and it may not be exactly what you had in mind.
From my ability to continuously choose to put school above everything else to my ability to manage rigorous academics, I have learned so much from my experience at OLP. I’ve also learned that your teachers want to see you succeed and that they are there for you. Though the professors at a large university may not know your name, they all have office hours to answer your questions or even suggest ways to study for their tests. Establishing a personal relationship is important for letters of recommendation or connections for future jobs, not to mention that professors appreciate students who show they care about the class. I would also like to give a shout-out to Mrs. Devereaux (AKA Ms. Mollering) for preparing me for speech communications—trust me when I say you will be the only students to construct and present your speeches confidently after taking a speech class at OLP.
People say to me all the time, “Oh my gosh, an all-girls school! That must have been terrible. I would never survive!” I always reply with, “Honestly, I had the best high school experience and I would not trade it for the world.” I have made friends to last a lifetime and miss them all so dearly being on the other side of the country. I am so proud to be an OLP alum and represent the Academy for the rest of my life.