I’ve come a long way since then. I now belong in Auburn and Opelika as much as I have ever belonged anywhere.
I owe a lot of that to being a journalism major and being a part of The Auburn Plainsman staff.
Because of my involvement on staff, I have eaten at the taco truck, partied at Woofstock, enjoyed acoustic music at Sundilla and interviewed a U.S. Navy veteran.
I’ve been present at a manufacturing facility groundbreaking. I’ve met President Jay Gogue. I’ve become an expert in nearly every aspect of Auburn’s campus and community.
OK, maybe not an expert, but I’ve certainly had a lot of experiences I would have missed out on if I hadn’t been a Plainsman staff member.
I probably never would have eaten at Mrs. Story’s Dairy Bar. I wouldn’t know where to find the Miracle Field. I can almost guarantee I never would have visited Pioneer Park for Second Saturday.
I graduate in 11 days, and if I knew I was leaving Auburn for good then I would be devastated.
There was a time when I said I would never want to stay in a college town if I wasn’t actually in college. But now that I face the prospect of leaving the Loveliest Village on the Plains, I feel a sense of panic at the thought of not calling this place home.
For those for whom graduation is still a distant expectation, I would say not to waste a minute of your time here. Four years goes by faster than you think.
Volunteer. Get a job. Eat at a hole-in-the-wall (I recommend Sara Jay’s). Study abroad. Visit city parks—Town Creek Park is a great place to not study.
I would also encourage you to—as cheesy as it sounds—“find yourself” while in college. This is the time when you will make your priorities, your goals and your beliefs your own.
I have found my closest fiends at the Tenth Street Church of Christ in Opelika, and I’m glad to be around for another few years if only to continue to be with them. My faith has grown since I came here, and that’s the most valuable thing I’ve gained in my time here—making my faith my own.
You have to find what’s important to you, because if you do that, you can’t help but remember college as a good experience.
Auburn alumna status … here I come!