BY PEYTON WELCH
Alas, my friends, the semester has reached its end.
To say that these last few months have gone by fast would be an understatement. I still vividly remember sitting down in my room on this computer and writing about Move-In day. And now, here I am, at the start of my first ever college Christmas break. If I stay on course, the statistics say that I am 12.5% done with my college career. I was talking to a friend this morning about that number. “One-eighth,” he said. “One eighth of our time at Samford is over.”
In retrospect, these last couple weeks have been some of the most exciting of the year. My fellow freshman classmates and I had the opportunity to experience many Samford traditions for the first time. We all packed into Reid Chapel for “Hanging of the Green,” as garlands were raised to the sound of hundreds of caroling voices. We stood on Centennial Walk in front of our majestic library (where we would basically live during finals week) and shouted the countdown to ignite “The Lighting of the Way.” The dullness of the night became illuminated with classic decorations! Afterward, hundreds of students stayed to enjoy hot chocolate, fresh apple cider, cookies and time with friends.
Finals week was a testament of the University’s dedication to academics. Library hours were extended until 2:00 a.m., the Caf stayed open late with the drink machines on and an hourly visit by the heralded food cart, departments provided multiple opportunities for free food and study rooms, and even the workers in the food court would wish you good luck on your tests as you passed by. I experienced a campus-wide environment that fosters academic success and an optimism that caught me off guard. I had grown up being very intimidated by the concept of college-level finals. Now, I have no reason to worry. My friends want me to succeed. My professors want me to succeed. I would imagine even those fearless squirrels who so boldly stare me down and hit me in the head with an occasional acorn want me to succeed as well. Either way, academic success is the goal. And Samford University works very hard to help us students achieve that goal.
I was somewhat shocked at the number of people I’ve talked to recently who don’t want to go home.
“Are you excited for Christmas break?”
“Yes and no," they would say. “How can I spend six weeks away from my best friends in the whole world?”
And that, reader, is why I love my school. It’s not that we don’t miss our families. I assure you that the first thing I will do when I get home is give everyone in my family the biggest hug they’ve ever had. It’s because we simply just love each other. We’ve grown closer than we ever thought possible. We will enjoy every second of our break, and at the same time, we will be counting down the days until we get to see each other again.
On behalf of the Freshman Blog Team, I’d like to thank all of you who have been following along with our journey this semester. We hope you have had a glimpse into what it’s like to be a student here at Samford University. And if you did, we hope you like what you have seen. I just finished my first semester as a college student, and I couldn’t imagine having spent this memorable 12.5% anywhere else.
We bid you a fair well until 2016!
Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.