As unlikely as it seems, some students bridge the state football rivalry gap.
Tuck Borie, freshman in undeclared science and math, and Corrine Champion, junior in social science education, both left the University of Alabama behind them to attend Auburn.
Borie grew up an Alabama fan. Both his parents attended the University of Alabama, and he has a brother who goes there now.
Originally, he had the opportunity to play football at Alabama, Auburn or Air Force, but Borie chose Alabama because of friends and family.
At Alabama, he was a punter, but he said he realized soon into the season he would not be playing often.
“Ultimately, I didn’t choose to go to school there,” Borie said. “I chose to play football there.”
After one semester at Alabama, Borie decided to make the switch and come to Auburn. He has been at Auburn since January.
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Champion grew up an Auburn fan, but followed her friends to Alabama. Champion started off at a community college in her hometown, Albertville, but transferred to Alabama after a year.
Champion said she attended Alabama along with most of her graduating class, but was ready to go home after two weeks of being in Tuscaloosa.
“I always knew I wouldn’t stay at Alabama very long,” Champion said.
After taking another semester at a community college, Champion transferred to Auburn in January 2013, and has been here since.
While she was not at Alabama for a long time, Champion said she figured out quickly she did not belong.
According to Champion, it is harder to be involved at Alabama than it is to be involved at Auburn. At Alabama, Champion said students are chosen for organizations based on who they know and who their parents know, whereas at Auburn, it is based on a person’s character.
Borie said he also realized quickly he did not belong at Alabama.
“I didn’t fit the mold there,” Borie said.
According to Borie, the influence of Greek Life at Alabama is overwhelming, and Greek Life is much more relaxed at Auburn, which he said he prefers.
Borie also said the atmosphere of Auburn was relaxed and makes him feel more at home than in Tuscaloosa.
Champion agreed Auburn is more of a home. According to Champion, Auburn is in its own nook, which gives it a neighborhood feel.
While both said they agree on the overall feel of Auburn, Borie and Champion had different academic experiences.
Borie said Alabama challenged him academically more than he thought.
“People always say it’s harder to go to school at Auburn, but I found it harder to go to school at Alabama because of the plus and minus system,” Borie said.
Because of the plus and minus system, Borie said, students at Alabama have to have a 93 in a class to receive an A. Therefore, Borie said, it is easier to earn an A at Auburn.
Borie also said teachers at Auburn teach their own material, whereas, at Alabama, he found himself having to read the textbook more and teach himself.
Champion said she felt the education at Auburn was more difficult.
Although she only attended classes at Alabama for a few weeks, Champion said she believed the education program at Auburn was better suited for her and has challenged her more than Alabama could have.
Because she has been so successful at Auburn, Champion said she does feel like she wasted time at Alabama.
However, she said having gone to Alabama has made her appreciate Auburn that much more.
Similarly, Borie said his time at Alabama helped him realize how much he belongs at Auburn.
Borie said he might have always had that what-if thought in the back of his mind had he not gone to Alabama first.
Both Borie and Champion said they agree Auburn is a home, and the people around them are their family.
“I know without a shadow of a doubt that I’m better off here,” Borie said.
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