Monthly Archives: September 2014

That’s My (Medicinal) Jam!

As any college-aged student could tell you, music is very important. Why it’s important, however, depends heavily on personal experience. A strong sense of attachment is involved in hearing a song and declaring it as your jam. You can’t take these things lightly. Otherwise, “Party in the USA” would utterly lose its premise and meaning. And we don’t want that, do we?

There are a lot of stock photos like this and I just wanted to share. Look at how healthy this person seems! Lifting two whole guitars like that!

The purpose of music is similar to any other medium of art: either to express and be understood or to observe and find connection. In terms of place, this quality of music augments our memories of certain times or places in our lives. Given the shared nature of consciousness, songs can influence a similar sense of place for many people.  Many of us remember awkwardly standing in the dark corner of our middle school’s gym while the likes of “Cyclone”, “Heartless”, or the classic “Cha Cha Slide” played during school dances. Playing “Tunak Tunak Tun” at my old school’s mixers elicits a unique response. As you can see, we’ve grown up hearing at least some of the same songs. Though as a collective whole, we all know where we were when Beyonce released her most recent album. Or at least I do.

The effect of Beyonce’s music is a subject of an entirely different blog post.

One of my favorite artists wrote liner notes for the first album his band released. It took me a long time to find a copy online (here, should it interest you), so please appreciate the following relevant quotes:

“This leads me to something weird about the power that music has, its transportive ability. Any time I hear a song or record that meant a lot to me at a certain moment or I was listening to at a distinct time, I’m instantly taken back to that place in full detail … It’s a form of recall that I can actually trust. … You can call it escapism if you like, but I see it as connecting to a deeper human feeling than found in the day-to-day world.”

These are strange ideas to talk about in the confines of plastic album covers, but they resonate with me anyway. If you don’t mind the cliche, we can create soundtracks for our lives. For example, hearing “Let’s Get It On” gives me fond memories of strolling down the streets of Durham with my friends after sunrise. “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” takes me back to daydreaming in the grocery store while my mother shopped several aisles away. “Unwritten” reminds me of sharing a bedroom with all my sisters and playing storytelling games late at night, barely loud enough to disturb our somnambulant younger brother. Sometimes I listen to “Race You” or Icona Pop’s “Girlfriend” just to relive the memories of silently sitting in my dearest friend’s dorm room as we worked to the sound of her blaring laptop speakers. “Young Lion” was the first song I listened to after a somewhat lengthy hospital stay; I could never retell what it sounded like. Needless to say, I’m certain that all of you experience similar feelings when you hear familiar songs. Music helps us remember places in deeply meaningful ways.

This is the aforementioned album. You can tell I was an interesting adolescent.

Speaking of memories, music can also serve a role in medical settings. As described in this cool video (and also these sources), music has helped patients recall information when suffering from neurological injuries and diseases. Additionally, music can improve outcomes for critical care and cancer patients. While doctors aren’t sure of how music affects hormone and white blood cell levels (x, x), the impact appears to be cognitively based. The benefits of music therapy are well documented (x), so much so that some schools offer majors specifically devoted to the subject. While many of these same sources may suggest music as a treatment for depression and other mental illnesses/disabilities, I would personally recommend it as an adjunct to other methods. Although quite uplifting, rousing renditions of Mozart’s masterpieces are yet to negate anyone’s need for psychotherapy or medication.

While visiting my grandfather in the VA hospital, I noticed signs advertising the availability of MP3 players to patients by request. In light of numerous scientific studies, this made perfect sense. However, music probably can’t heal my grandfather’s literal heart. His hearing loss precludes that, among other factors. But if you should ever talk to him, bless his heart, he will passionately tell you how he thinks “Dixie” should be the national anthem. He’s also intent on planning his 100th birthday party. Music might not be a cure by any means, but it certainly makes life more bearable. This is what art is all about, the art of medicine included.

[FYP: Then vs. Now]

[[FYP: Then vs. Now]]

Wow, it’s been several weeks now since I first stepped foot into Sewanee! And I must say it has been wonderful, with little baby bumps in the road, but who doesn’t come across obstacles.

The whole summer before I was to leave for Sewanee, my reply to everything and everyone was, "I’m leaving in a few for college, so I can do what I please. I’m a college girl now!" I was super excited to leave for school, to start FYP. I just knew things were going to be in my favor and everything was going to be smooth sailing. I was excited to start this new journey in my life, on my own. I was ready to face whatever was thrown my way.

On August 13th, that morning, I was packed and ready to go and bored my flight, but as I got closer and closer I got more and more excited but then again at the same time, I got more and more sad and anxious. My sisters helped me unpacked my luggage out the car and we said our "See you laters". My sisters shed tears, but hey that’s what alot of families do when they see their loved ones leaving off to school. As soon as the 2012 Altima Nissan pulled off, it hit me. I’m on my way to school. I was pumped but I was sad that I had to depart from my home, Washington D.C.

The difference between the other students and myself, is that I already had a group of friends here that I knew, my POSSE and my boyfriend of course! I had nine other students who I had grew a tight bond with for the past year and I knew that we all we ready to kick butt at Sewanee. But soon as I realize that I wasn’t in the same FYP class as none of them, I was doomed. In my mind, all I could think about was "Aww man, I’m alone. It’s time to start all over again, introducing myself, meeting new people, making new friends, and so on!" I was kind of scare to meet my FYP group, thinking that I wasn’t going to fit in and things along those lines. But after the first meeting with these lovable people were amazing! I came to realize that all these students were getting use to Sewanee and all of share that one common thing. Finding our place in Sewanee!

After making new friends, inside and outside of my FYP group, school actually started where ALL the students were on campus now. I was super excited to meet even more people and see the rest of my POSSE. FYP made me feel at home, and I wanted to make the other freshmen feel at home just like how Sewanee, and my FYP group did when I came here! Now, I’ve become accumulated with Sewanee, and the things it has to offer. I’ve joined many extracurricular activities such as Tiger Girls, Cheer leading, AAA, and many more. Becoming involved in campus and joining these activities makes me feel good inside and outside. I feel even more good because I’m maintaining good grades in my classes, and I’m happy to say that I passed my first college exam! *pats self on the back*

I did indeed run into an obstacle. I ran into a problem with my FYP class. After receiving my paper back and receiving a grade that I wasn’t satisfied with, I did want to give up at first. But I sat and looked at that paper, and I gave myself a talk. Who am I to give uo just because of one assignment. Everyone receives a bad grade here and there, its just up to that person to do better the next time, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Although FYP is almost over, I do have a chance to redeem myself with our project. I’m putting in hard work and I know that at the end, I’m going to be proud of myself because I bounce back from a minor set back. This has taught me that I need to be more aware and be on top of myself if I want my hard work to show. I will run into many more obstacles, and this one is just a learning experience. Other than this setback, things are going swell for me.

Looking back to the first step I took on Sewanee campus, to now, I’m proud of the progress that I made. And I promise to myself that I’m going to keep up the great work, and continue to improve as each day passes. I’m going to do great my freshman year as well as my peers of FYP. I know that we all are going to kick butt. FYP has set a stage for me here at Sewanee, and although I’m still looking for my place here at Sewanee, I know that I will definitwly find it over my next 4 years here. FYP was a great was to start my year here at Sewanee!

Beginning to Now

A little over a month ago, I was driving down the old Tennessee roads not knowing what was up ahead. As I drove in through the gates on that warm August night I got the sense that everything was about to change, and it’s true. Everything did change. On the first day of FYP, I was immediately thrown into a dorm with several of my soon to be best friends. I was nervous and excited and desperately wanted to make a good impression. I was in a new place, nearly a thousand miles from home. I was utterly alone- I knew no one, no one knew me. And the scariest part, I was to live on top of this secluded mountain for the next 9 months. I could not be more out of my comfort zone. Despite these insecurities, I was comforted knowing that everyone around me was experiencing the same thing. I was surprised at how easy it was to connect with my peers both inside and outside the FYP sessions. I did not know it at the time, but the people I had met in FYP would make a serious impact on me and help define my freshman year. Of course, it was awkward at first. Living in such a community was quite the bonding experience. FYP was just the beginning of this transition as a college student.

In the weeks that followed, the transition picked up. I began swimming twice a day, going to classes, spending hours studying, and getting everything done in time to be able to hang out with friends. At first this adjustment was difficult. I became frustrated because I would want to hang out with my new friends; however, I needed to study and go to practice. My classes were unlike any I had ever had. My teachers were brilliant, but most of my studying and learning of the various topics occurred outside of the class. My teachers were more like a resource for all of my question. Time management would become my new best friend. I learned to set aside time for studying, and gained the will power to deny my friends when “academia” was calling. In the mean time, I was making study groups, meeting new people, and bonding with the team. I love how I was able to connect with so many different kinds of people because of the various things I was involved in. I went from originally feeling like a stranger at Sewanee, to not being able to walk any sort of distance without seeing a familiar face or friend. The community here embraced me, and I could not be more grateful.

I am so thankful that I decided to participate in FYP.  It boosted my confidence while exploring life on the domain and introduced me to some of my best friends at Sewanee. While I feel as if I am still trying to find my place, the FYP program definitely eased the adjustment from living at home to college.  I look forward to continuing the relationship I created at FYP, and I’m excited for my 4 years here at the University of the South. Can’t wait to see what happens next!

26 September, 2014 20:00

FYP: Then and Now

After being at Sewanee for about seven weeks now, so much has changed since I first stepped foot on campus on August 13th. I arrived early that morning not knowing at all what to expect; I was excited, nervous, apprehensive, and happy all at once. When I said goodbye to my family, I was shocked at how well I handled the departure; I think I was too overwhelmed with nervousness to feel much of my other emotions. The rest of the day consisted of uncomfortable icebreakers, which to me did not make me feel any closer to my fellow dorm residents than before the awkward games. For me, simply talking to people outside of a structured setting allowed me to get to know others really well. I got to know my peers best while eating breakfast, talking in the vans, walking around campus, or sitting in the common room. I really liked everyone I was meeting during FYP, but at that time I still didn’t feel completely comfortable at Sewanee. It was tough being away from my family and friends, and at times I just wanted to go home since it is only an hour away. I decided that would be taking the easy way out, and the only way I would feel more at home here was if I stayed. Everyone else in FYP was in the same situation as me- away from home and beginning their college journey. It has been a huge transition and a difficult one, but the more time I spend on campus, the more I love it.

When all of my other classes began it became easier to meet people, and I have made a good amount of friends. Tennis practice keeps me very busy, and the team is a close group of girls who I consider some of my best friends at Sewanee. Getting to know more and more people has made me feel much more at home. I can walk into Mclurg and find a group of people to sit with now, whereas at the beginning I would eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner with my roommate. At first everyone was a stranger to me, but now I always pass friends on the way to class who I stop and have brief conversations with. I was very nervous about the level of difficulty of college classes, but so far I think I have managed them well. I have had to go home to Chattanooga two times since I have been here for doctors’ appointments, and even though it was nice to see my family, I found myself wanting to be back on the mountain. I know I have found my place here at The University of the South because when I am at home, I think to myself, “I can’t wait to go back to Sewanee”.

Although it was a difficult transition at first, I am confident that I made the right decision by doing FYP. It gave me the chance to settle into things before all the other students got to campus, and I felt well-adjusted before my other classes began. Academically, I feel like I now view topics from more perspectives than just my own, and I am more comfortable speaking my opinion in a classroom full of people because of the many discussions we had throughout FYP. From a social standpoint, FYP allowed me to meet some of the greatest people, and many of the students who did FYP are my good friends. I feel happy and confident here at Sewanee, and I owe much of that to my FYP experience.

The Forest Unheard: My journey from August 13th until now

There was a rapid gasp, a breath of fresh air filling my lungs that felt different from the nitrogen and oxygen I am used to—an aerobic explosion of newness and doubt, of happiness and sorrow, of blindness and determination. Where was I to end up, and how will I cope with another new beginning? I stepped into the stone building filled with unknown identities and salient characters; many of which will effect my own.

The beginning of my FYP experience was strangely serene. I spent my days trying “to [discover] that wavelength in which [I] could thrive by being myself” (to quote myself from the Day 1 blog). Like the particles in the air that fill my lungs, the friend groups that I have made happened naturally. A slight giggle or smile set things off in just the right ways. The discussions about place aided me in my journey of self discovery. I remember sitting alongside a cabin on the perimeter tail with all of my new companions, discussing the details presented in in which David Haskell’s The Forest Unseen. These discussions were quite mesmerizing for they gave me this unprecedented knowledge that I would be able to use in my near future. In the first lecture, Professor Craighill noted that we are all here by choice and that, “Sewanee has the power to attract various individuals”. She also noted that these “intimate and emotional landscapes” allow us students to secure a safe and social identity. Over the past month, it was this identity that allowed me to attach to various individuals and awaken my sense of belonging. Although many of the lectures during the Find Your Place program were captivating, some disheartened me. Dr. McDonough noted that the “problem of the color line” was quite relevant during the establishment of the school and that southern ideals, such as slavery, flourished among the minds of many who originally attended. The mere idea of it all was the first problem I was faced with. Why am I attending a school that was partly built upon the ideals and money that came with slavery? School started, the bugs whistled, the tips of leaves began to turn crimson, my bike was stolen, and I realized something. Sewanee is past that. As a tightly knit community, this institution has faced their problems with heavy hearts. I fit in so well here that I cannot bear to even think about the past. As I sit here typing, I am thinking of the diversity of my friend group—the warm cultures blended profoundly into my very identity.

A defining moment from my recent past that can easily be placed in juxtaposition with our finding your place beginnings was the perimeter trail that I hiked with the Sewanee Outdoor Program. This hike was a spur of the moment decision. I approached the dorm late at night after a party and someone was filling up a camelback with water. They told be about the hike and I immediately knew I was going. Somewhere deep down in my heart said I should be adventurous, so I did it. I ran up to my room set out some gear and snacks and slept soundly until the morning. In the blink of an I was having a conversation with a Bea, a senior, about life. My heart throbbed with excitement as a result of the sincerity and down-to-earth aura of everyone that was on the hike. One memorable joke someone said during the excursion was about the possible titles for David Haskell’s new book: The Forest Untouched, The Forest Unheard, The Forest Unsmelt, The Forest Untasted etc. I thought it was pretty funny. To my surprise, we ended up eating lunch at the Forestry Cabin. Where our medicine group ate during that one long hike. Remember? I was sharing a similar experience with new people. Present and past were clashing in a very parallel way. In the past I was slightly more reserved but now I had this underlying conviction and insight.

My classes are going well, I have gotten involved in a myriad of activities ranging from, acapella to an EMT class. The most interesting thus far is my Shakespeare acting class with Dr. Landon. The constant intonation-group work and acting with others makes me want to pursue that career. It is so expressive and constantly gives me new challenges as do many careers in medicine. Aside from my indecisiveness, I would like to acknowledge the success of our Finding Your Place program. Thanks to everyone for such a great start to my college career. I hope we all stay in touch in the future for we all form a solid part of each other’s journey here in the domain.

FYP Then and now

FYP Then and now

When I arrived at Sewanee on move in day, I could feel the opportunity in the air, and my own concern. My dad and I moved into my room in Cannon, met my roommate, and got some of the books I would need. It wasn’t long before he left and I was alone. Having been to boarding school before, I was accustomed to dorm life, but I was stranger in a new land. All of my previous friends from high school were not here to be my entourage. Making new friends in a new and strange place was hard enough. I could feel that everyone in the dorm was feeling a little anxious. I felt confused. I was disoriented in this new place, relying a bit too heavily on the little green schedule and a campus map I was given. I knew coming here about two weeks early for the FYP program would open lots of doors for me. When the program started, I didn’t know what to expect. Talking about “place,” seemed a little too far-fetched for me. It didn’t really fit for me, until we started to take some field trips. One example is the day when we hiked out to the forestry cabin in the woods, to talk about Haskell’s book “The Forest Unseen.” Hiking out into the depths of the woods, way out there, really shook me back into concentration. I remembered the reason that I wanted to attend Sewanee in the first place. The beauty of the forest compelled me to get out and explore my surroundings, to see all that I could see. All the field trips, Beersheba Springs Clinic, Vanderbilt Medical School, have set the tone for where we are, and helped me understand this concept of “place” well.

I see now that FYP was the best thing I could do for myself starting Sewanee. Getting here early with a small group of other eager students gave me the confidence I needed to start the year strong. Meeting new friends, creating bonds, and experiencing Sewanee together created for me, a unique experience that I can start on. I have burrowed in, and am ready for the school year. FYP has allowed me to ease into the rigors of college life. The immersion period of FYP put me on a schedule, part school, part fun. During the school semester, we meet for three hours on Friday. We lead discussions about books and modern social issues. I feel that our group has bonded throughout the session. FYP grouped as strangers with similar interests, but we became very close during the early session, and during the semester so far, I always know I can trust a groups of friends here. With my new group of friends expanding, I feel like I belong here. We all have a long way to go in our college career. It has only begun, and yet I feel comfortable here. I think I may have found my place.

The Sewanee Experience

category [FYP Then & Now]

Where do I begin? The journey into the undiscovered land: college! The place where you will meet lifelong friends. The best time of your life! I honestly did not know what to expect. Millions of thoughts ran through my head as Sewanee seem to be closer and closer. This is the beginning of a new chapter in my life. Everything was going to be different; I was about to have an actual job for the first time!

As it was for everyone else, the first day was intimidating. Everyone was quiet, stern, and shy as if they were all like introverts. Their parents just left them and for some this is their first time out into what some might call freedom. The worst part was meeting new people, it was like the first day of high school again. Our assistant proctors, Megan and Antinea, facilitated in loosening the tension by playing ice breaker games. I did not know which group I was going to fit into. Everyone falls into a place in which they can truly be them. Within a few days, it was everyone had known each other since forever.

Coming into this course, I did not know what to expect. This was the first college course I was going to take! To my surprise, this class was not what I expected it to be. From hikes to lectures, this was really an unorthodox class compared to the other courses I have ever taken. Transitioning from a high school senior to a freshman in a college course was a major and difficult change yet rewarding. Class discussions are always interesting because the varying backgrounds and perspectives. Rather than being told you are wrong, beliefs are challenged which strengthen the whole purpose of this class: academic growth. Although, sometimes points in discussions aren’t seen eye to eye which bring the fire and the fun to this class. A defining moment that juxtaposes myself from the first day was the hike on the Perimeter Trail to the cabin. During that discussion about The Forest Unseen, I felt as if I peeled back the layers of my onion and emerged with confidence. Along with this experience, I began my first job ever at the childcare center. The job experience and balancing school provides a great structure in shaping my work ethic.

It has been about six weeks since the beginning of FYP. In such a short amount of time my emotional connection to this place has changed. On the first day, I was unsure about the Sewanee environment but as time progressed I could feel the sense of the Sewanee community. I feel the need to help others to the best of my ability because I know everyone else would do the same for me. In a sense I have found my place in Sewanee. In the past few weeks I have become good friends with people in the FYP group and beyond. I am no long the quiet and reserved person everyone met on the first day but the funny, nerdy, friendly, and talkative person that I am. The environment here will challenge me academically and support my beliefs even more if they are questioned. College opens up more opportunities for me to discover who I am, what I believe in, and what I like as opposed to being told and taught what to do like in high school. Overall, I am glad to have participated in such an enjoyable program and look forward to the rest of my college career here at The University of the South.

26 September, 2014 15:28

It has been surprisingly difficult to think back on the first day of FYP, in fact, its been almost impossible. I remember trying to cover up my anxiety with false confidence. Not only was I away from home for good for the first time, but now I had none of my friends. Being the first one to leave home and move it, it was difficult to talk to any of my friends at home because I was jealous that they got to continue going to the beach and hanging out with each other. So I had to turn to people at Sewanee who were also moving in and being away from home for the first time. I normally, absolutely, completely despise meeting people. I can not stand the same typical conversation of “YOU’RE FROM HAWAII? THAT’S SO COOL! WHATS IT LIKE?” To which I always respond “Its different.” But as I’ve come to learn, no matter what, I will always be meeting new people and always have the exact same conversation. And the more I’ve had to do it, the better I’ve been about avoiding the subject completely if not mentioning it as subtly as possible. And after a few days, I enjoyed meeting people. Some I got to know well instantly and others I just learned were not going to be my friend no matter what. But meeting people was not my only challenge. While my parents were there to help me move in, I have never been more unready to take on an adventure by myself. The moment they left I was terrified. But, being the nerd that I am, class made everything better. Even though our class was just talking about place at first, it helped me to calm down. I’ve always liked school because you don’t have to talk to anyone in class, you can just pay attention. But FYP was different. Because everyone was in the dorm together, we had already spend an ungodly amount of time together going to every activity as a group. I’m not going to lie, the first days of school and class felt more like a middle school summer camp than anything else. Discussion was more personal than I had expected and activities were so structured, it was difficult to meet anyone outside of our FYP group. However annoying this structure may have been, I loved the first few days.

Now, a little over a month later, the group that we traveled around with for so long is the main group that I continue to travel with. What I had initially hated as it kept me from meeting other people, I am now so grateful for. Unlike other FYP groups, the people in Where Medicine Takes Place are mostly interested in the same types of things. When life is stressful, as college has become, these people are helpful and understand my need to focus waaaay too much on my school work. We are essentially all the same person in different forms. We all like to exercise and get outside. We all like to socialize and go to "social gatherings." And most importantly, we all like to study. Compared to my life 2 months ago, everything has changed. Now I am a cheerleader, doing things I would never even dream of. Back home, I would have never even thought of cheering, but I decided to try something new, and not only do I enjoy doing it, but I’m actually good at it. Its given me a home outside of the people I know from Cannon and gives me an opportunity to try something that is equally as dangerous as the sports I loved at home. But most importantly in college, my classes have been amazing. In high school I never struggled in my classes and barely had to try, but now I spend almost all day, every day, working on homework or studying for some quiz or finishing a project. And it has been fun. For the first time ever, I am taking classes that I actually want to be in, and want to learn about. Now I know that virtually every fear that I had during the first few days has worked it self out, and while I expected finding my place to be a more specific place, I like that my place is with my friends, with my sport, and with my classes. Now no matter where I am at least part of me is at home. Somewhat…

FYP: Then and Now

FYP: Then and Now

After spending nearly a month and a half on campus, much has changed. I began my Sewanee career hopeful and excited, but apprehensive and uncertain as well. I was finally going to college, headed out alone in the world for the first time, and with such a big step there is always an amount of uncertainty that accompanies it. I remember our first day here, when I met all of my fellow dorm members for the first time. After hours of meetings and painfully awkward icebreakers, I felt no closer to the people I would come to be friends with over the following weeks. My most memorable interaction on my first day at the University of the South was meeting my roommate face to face for the first time. We were in Bishops Common waiting to get our room keys, and Matt Klein walked up to me, hand out, saying “Hey man, I’m Matt, how’s it going?” In response, I said, “Hi, I’m John, nice to meet you,” and promptly continued walking, only to realize minutes later, to my horror, that the guy I’d just met was actually the person I’d be living with for the rest of the year. The awkwardness of that first day indicated how desperately I needed to find my place at Sewanee.
Now, weeks later, I have grown quite close to my “roomie,” as well as several other friends I have made. Where icebreakers failed, simple daily interactions have allowed me to foster new friendships (along with a common hatred of mandatory meetings). I have overcome my initial fear of college classes and I am learning to balance my academic, athletic, and social lives in an effective manner. I have gotten to know my teammates and classmates better as well, and I look forward to continuing to strengthen these relationships in the future. While not all of my uncertainties have disappeared and the future is still far from clear. I’ve seen some relationships struggle and some flourish, but in the process I’ve found a place where I can comfortably face the impending unknown with my fellow students, and a place where my friends and I can share our struggles and support each other through them. I may have not found my permanent place as of today, but I have come a long way from the isolated, unsure freshman I was 6 weeks ago.

My FYP Experience

My feelings towards Sewanee have changed immensely since I first stepped foot onto campus, feeling unsure of whether I had chosen the right school. When I decided to join FYP I knew that it was going to be a challenge. Arriving at school early and being able to get a feel for living on a college campus and what college class is like was a big advantage. However, I was also worried that it was going to be too challenging and make me regret my decision to come to school here. The first day I moved in I felt like all of the kids were judging me because of the amount of things I had brought. For about 4 hours my parents and I were bringing in crates filled with belongings. I must admit if I were someone else watching me, I would probably have judged me too! However, this feeling made me even more anxious than I already was. I was worried that people wouldn’t want to talk to me because they thought I was spoiled. Another overwhelming factor was meeting my roommate for the first time. I was not fond of the idea that I couldn’t pick who I got to live with. I knew that meeting him was going to be awkward because even if I didn’t like him I would still have to live with him.

Social factors were not the only reason I was stressed. Believe it or not, I was even more stressed about taking an actual college class. The first day FYP classes met I remember feeling very nervous. Some of my friends who were already students at Sewanee had told me that Professor Summers was a very strict professor. Already being terrified of my professor did not exactly help calm my nerves. Not knowing what to expect also frightened me. However, Professor Summers turned out to be awesome! She has played a large role in me becoming confident and comfortable here on campus. She even invited the whole class to her house for dessert. It was a great experience that helped bring our FYP class even closer than we already were.

Looking back on my experiences I am positive that doing FYP was one of the best decisions of my life. It has taught me how to view things from many different perspectives and has also helped me prove to myself that I can survive and be responsible on my own. I have now been in class for 4 weeks and have settled into a nice routine. I have already taken tests and written papers. I am truly shocked at how much more responsible and accountable I have become in just about one month. I did not expect to feel comfortable on campus as early as I have. I have already made many new friends and participated in many fun activities held throughout campus. I am now absolutely positive that I am ready for the challenges that will be presented to me for the next four years. Sewanee is a wonderful place and FYP and Professor Summers have helped me realize this. I can now confidently say that The University of the South is truly “my place.”