The Bigger the Better?

   BY SAMANTHA MCCRABB

     How do you know if you made the right choice? The one that defines four years of your life and pretty much everything after that? My junior year in high school I was overwhelmed by the “college talk” and the visits that went along with it. How was I supposed to know which one was for me? That year, I visited Samford University. I loved Birmingham and I loved the beautiful campus, but I was feeling that I wanted something bigger. The bigger the better, right?

    My senior year in high school I had numerous talks with my teachers and other parents. I told them that I felt ready for the big time. I wanted to go to a big SEC university and I wanted to make a difference on that campus. After attending a private Christian school for a portion of my education already, I was ready to be bold and move out of the comfortable stage I was in. I chose the college that I loved. It was beautiful, it was far enough away but not too far and it was everything I was looking for.

    During my first semester at my dream college, I began to wonder if I had misjudged my ability to stand strong in what I believe. The campus minister I had heard great things about left, my plans and ambition faded and I felt myself losing sight of the very reason why I wanted to be there. This was a huge lesson: pride before fall.

    I was prideful about a handful of things leaving high school and I was quickly shown that it is not easy to stand alone and be the difference people are looking for. I was not prepared to keep allowing this constant battle in my life - fighting against the crowd and being without a community - and I knew something had to change.

    After my first semester, I sat down with my parents and was very open about my feelings towards where I was mentally, academically and spiritually at college. I was disappointed with where I was and made the decision that I needed a change and decided to leave. I remembered Samford's beautiful, classic campus and I knew there was nowhere else I wanted to be. Samford may not have been what I was looking for at the time, but it was everything I needed.

    During your college years, you grow a lot. During that growth it is important to surround yourself with a good community. It makes such a difference when you are around people with similar goals. Samford stands out among other schools for many reasons, but I recognized a few that I loved. At Samford, the people are set apart from the norm. They are motivated and intentional with their time. Students have a clear perspective on why they are here at college and take that very seriously. Samford is a place where I know I can have fun and grow in all areas while people challenge me.

    Some may question my decision to transfer. Maybe it was the comfortable thing to do. Maybe I got scared and gave up. Or maybe I found a place where I can accomplish all the things I need to in college.

    I have learned so much more here in class than anywhere else. My professors know who I am and they care about my success. The community has variety here, but it is made up of people who are outstanding students, friends and leaders. It is okay to realize that where you are is not where you want to be, but I learned I had to make the change. Bigger is not always better and it is a lot easier to get pulled down rather than pulling others up. My decisions helped shape me and allowed me to learn. I simply realized I was not heading in the right direction and changed my course.

Everyday, I am grateful for that decision.

Samford Greek Life

BY SAMANTHA MCCRABB

    The frat life takes a very specific type of cookie-cutter personality, right? Wrong! Samford’s Greek life includes around half of the student body who are either in a fraternity or a sorority. Samford is different in many ways but Greek life here is something that stands out among other universities. I’m sure we have all heard the phrase “Greek unity” tossed around once or twice. Samford has a unique and unifying Greek atmosphere. Even past Greek unity, there is a deeper campus-wide unity as well. Recruitment week is a week that students get to experience a portion of that unity. I went through sorority recruitment this year as a sophomore. Most students decide to participate during their freshman year, but I waited. Because of this I am able to honestly claim that there is not a Greek organization on campus in which I would be ashamed to be a part of. 

    As you may have noted, I am classified as a sophomore this year. (Stay tuned, blog about being a transfer student is coming soon.) I remember during spring semester of my freshman year, I traveled to Florida to spend spring break at the beach packed in a house with sixteen girls, all from different sororities. That experience is still my favorite Samford memory I have made.
    
    Here at Samford, students do not let their sororities define them. As a student body we are unified by something much deeper and we have a commonality in our belief of Jesus. That is what defines the students here. I have found that joining a Greek organization is not something students do for friends or people to eat lunch with in-between classes. Students join a fraternity or a sorority to further their opportunities to grow spiritually, academically, and throughout the campus.

    Fraternities and sororities at Samford encourage students to become active in every way. Whether it is signing up to be on the school’s student government, becoming an orientation leader or tour guide, or even volunteering time to go serve within the community, joining Greek life gets students involved in every aspect.

    Personally, accountability is one word I use to describe my reasoning behind joining a sorority. Accountability for my classes and people who can help me when I have questions. Accountability to take care of myself and also branch out to become involved on campus outside of my sorority. And accountability to continually grow in my relationship with the Lord without a stopping point. I have found many of the things I had prayed for before attending college. There will be ups and downs to every decision, but becoming apart Samford’s Greek Life is not one I will regret.