My journey to college took me 15 minutes down the road to Auburn University. Even though I have always grown up as an Auburn fan, I was unprepared for how much of an impact Auburn University would have on me. Yes, I am the person that always travels with orange and blue and a tiger tail on my luggage, and if you are wearing anything Auburn, be prepared to hear me yell, "War Eagle!"
There is an atmosphere and a feeling that embodies Auburn University that is infectious. The feeling isn’t bound by Auburn’s campus either. It travels with you wherever you are in the world, and the sense of school pride that Auburn graduates and fans possess was a crucial factor in my decision to attend Auburn University.
During my senior year of high school, I traveled to Scotland for Spring break. While walking through Edinburgh Castle in an Auburn sweatshirt, I heard someone yell, “War Eagle!” Similarly, this past summer I traveled to Israel, and while walking down the Via Dolorosa with a group of Auburn friends, we had someone yell “War Eagle” to us. I love that Auburn fans are excited to share their school pride regardless of the occasion, the time or the place.
Last year, I had the privilege to attend the National Championship game. While I was traveling with my family, we stayed in Las Vegas and delighted in seeing the Las Vegas strip covered in orange and blue for several days. Everywhere we went we yelled, “War Eagle!” and bonded with Auburn fans. Oregon fans consistently came up to us to say how wonderful it was that we always wore our university’s colors. It is something they had never seen fans do, and believe me, if they had all been wearing lime green and highlighter yellow, it would not have been hard to miss.
Auburn does provide a good feeling, but students don’t attend college just for a feeling. They attend college to get a good education, and I knew that I would be receiving a quality education after my first class at Auburn.
On my first day of college, I arrived to campus at 7:30 a.m. for my 8 a.m. class. The moment I stepped on campus, a university employee said to me, “You must be a freshman.” I gleefully responded, “How did you know!?” I was told that no one is that happy on the first day of class, but I was genuinely excited to go to school. I got to my first class, Honors Introduction to Psychology, and took out my textbook that was titled Psychology by Lewis Barker. My professor then entered the room and introduced himself as Dr. Lewis Barker. My point in telling this story is to show that Auburn has professors who are knowledgeable in their field. My professor wrote my textbook so he knew what he was talking about. This semester I have another professor who co-authored my textbook, so I know that I should listen to what he has to say.
In my own major I have had professors that are accomplished in their fields. My mass communication professor is the stadium announcer for the Auburn University football games, the stadium announcer for the SEC Championship game and has worked at several Olympic Games. When he taught in class, I knew that he was speaking from real life experience. He tailored the class to what we would be doing in our careers. Similarly, one of my public relations professors has been nominated for an Emmy Award for her work in broadcast television. When she was teaching me how to write a broadcast press release, I could trust in her knowledge.
Choosing which college to attend is an important and challenging decision. I tell every prospective Auburn student I talk to that they should choose the college that is right for them. I want students to choose the college that they will want to represent for the rest of their lives. I know that I chose well because of the atmosphere and education Auburn has provided me, and my hope is that all of your high school students will make the right decision for them.