Dear, Me.

giphy-3We all come into college with high hopes of freedom, new experiences and friends. College is absolutely all of these things, or at least it was for me. However, there are aspects of the college experience that you learn the hard way. It is full of decisions you make that you immediately regret and the lessons you learn along the way.  I have put together a few tips and tricks I would have told myself as I stepped foot into some of the best years ever.

1. Get involved.

Involvement is key in getting the most out of college and Auburn especially. On those days when you are on the concourse and everyone is thrusting fliers in your face. Yeah, read them. Get to know what is going on throughout campus and try it out! I didn’t realize all of the organizations, clubs and opportunities Auburn offers until later in my college career.

2. Check the room number before going in a classroom……and then check it again.

I learned this lesson the hard way, in the spring of my freshman year. I had taken Italian I the previous semester, and was eager to get into my Italian II classroom, maybe a little too eager. I glanced at the room number and confidently walked into class, I was a SECOND-semester freshman, after all, I knew what I was doing. (HA) As soon as I entered, I knew something was wrong. Scheduled to have the same professor from Italian I, I was surprised to be face to face with a woman of Asian decent, not Italian. Nevertheless, I found a seat and took the paper she was handing out. The longer I sat, the redder my face got. It didn’t take me long to realize that I was actually in a Mandarin Chinese class, not my Italian class. I quietly slid out of my seat and bolted for the door. I am certain I know what was said as soon as I got out of the room, “Wow, what a freshman move,” and it was. #rookie. giphy.gif

3. School will is only half of college, relationships are just as important.

You have probably heard it said, “you make your best friends in college!” Well, I am here to tell you that it is true. The friends I have made in the last four years I have no doubt will be forever friends. I have always strived to do my best in my academics, however, if I could go back, I would tell my freshman self that school will still be there. Invest in more time in existing friends and making new ones.

giphy-1.gif4. Video the last second of the 2013 Iron Bowl.

You’re welcome.

5. Your best days are ahead of you!

I believe this about every season of life so I would make sure to tell myself this again as a newbie heading into college. If you go in with a joy and hope about what is to come, I believe that phase of life will be marked with fulfillment and happiness.
giphy-5.gifAll in all, my college days have been nothing short of amazing. The people, the opportunities, the experiences and the best school in the nation have made for a season of life that I will always cherish. This one will be hard to top, but I am excited to see what is to come!

 

Perks of PR

Public Relations
We have all been there. A senior in high school deciding the next four years. The tours, the applications, the housing, all vital parts of college life. However, it’s not just about choosing your home away from home, it is also considering the reason you are going to college, your major. My hope for this post is to help out those seniors struggling with this decision by highlighting a major they may not have considered but that proves to be a great career choice. Although first, I feel a *disclaimer* is needed because I will admit, I may be a little biased on the issue. But, just to back up my claims, I have outlined four reasons to choose public relations, or at least consider the profession when deciding on a major.

1. Public Relations is essential.

imagesFrom non-profits and corporations to athletics and government, public relations is present in all types of businesses. Communication and information distribution is an integral part of gaining consumers, viewers, supporters or donations, therefore a public relations practitioner is necessary. The Princeton Review writes,

“A public relations specialist is an image shaper. Their job is to generate positive publicity for their client and enhance their reputation.”

Without PR, the image of the client is created by the audience and sustained by the audience. And for businesses, that is a scary place to be.

2. Public Relations affects the bottom line.

Public relations teams are the experts at making sure that there are no missed opportunities. They monitor the business and make sure the right audiences are reached. For example, public relations departments can target specific demographics to increase sales. Additionally, public relations teams know the best messages to send to the media, how to pitch the right stories to journalists and how to get the company’s work published.

3. Public Relations is flexible.

imgresThe career paths for public relations practitioners are endless. Healthcare, education, business, and government are just a few. Not to mention the career options within those fields, such as working in human resources, media, marketing, and sales. PR professionals also work with different media platforms such as radio, television, and social media. Daily tasks as a public relations professional can also vary. These can include, writing and distributing press releases, speech writing, executing special events, writing and blogging for company websites, creating crisis public relations strategies and conducting social media content and responses to opinions online.

4. Public Relations is exciting.

Public relations is an ever-evolving industry with a fast-paced environment that ensures you will never be bored. The strategic, creative and administrative work in public relations is never the same on any given day. Both collaboration and independent work are encouraged, allowing you to interact with co-workers and external organizations as well as complete individual tasks. This leads to an atmosphere that is fostering relationship and breeding innovation.

I could go on and on about the benefits of public relations as a career choice. But, you shouldn’t just take my word for it, click the graphic below to check out a video released by the Public Relations Society of America on why public relations is crucial in today’s society.

social_marketing_webinar_prsa

Hopefully, through these points, I have helped you gain a fresh perspective on what public relations is and how it relates to most every aspect of our world. So, as you toy with all those majors, don’t count out public relations, it could be the best decision you ever made. I know it was for me.

Spring Break 2017: The Last Hoorah

adulting.pngBeing a senior, with graduation right around the corner, I am seeing the adult life pop up right before my eyes, a concept I find both exciting and extremely alarming. But nevertheless, whether I am ready or not, adulting is about to hit me full force.

With that being said, I am still *technically* college gal and because of that, I will shamelessly take advantage of the last few perks college life brings.

Though adulthood comes with a lot of pros itself, there are also some very unfortunate and obvious cons. Some of which being, not living with your besties, having to consider things like taxes, the social inappropriateness of eating pizza at any time of day, and having to look “put together” at all times. I believe one of the most upsetting downsides to the “real world,” though, is not being awarded a much-needed hiatus at the dawn of a new season. Yes, I am talking about spring break. sb Since I am on the cusp of my college days being behind me, I have decided that I will not fall victim to wasting away this precious gem. So, in order to get the most out of my last spring break ever, I have put together goals, objectives, strategies and tactics to ensure that this is the best spring break possible.

Goal: To make the most of my last hoorah.

Objective 1: To participate in at least 5 fun activities throughout the week. What is spring break without a little adventure? Whether it’s road trips or “staycations,” fun must be had in order to deem a week off as worthwhile.

Strategy: Bachelorette Trip to Savannah. Another perk of growing up is the fact that all your friends are getting married. You get to go to the parties, host the showers and shop for the nifty little monogram coasters. It is a dream. For part of the spring break week, I will be doing all these things while celebrating one of my sweetest friends’ last few weeks as a single lady.

friendsTactic: Quality friend time. This tactic won’t be hard to come by throughout my time in Savannah. Three whole days of nothing but laughs and talks with some of my best friends. Tell me something better than that. I’ll wait.

Tactic: Good food. “Foodies” would be an understatement when describing me and my friends. A good brunch spot is non-negotiable and coffee shops are researched months in advance.

Tactic: Shopping. As cliche as it sounds, shopping is absolutely necessary for a girl’s trip to, well anywhere really. There is nothing like striking gold at a hole in the wall boutique.

Objective 2: To see AT LEAST a 25% decrease in stress levels by the end of the week. With this objective, I aim to unwind, recharge and basically neglect all responsibilities. Just being honest.  sb

Strategy: Direct focus away from school-related topics. As you may have guessed, most of my stress these days comes from school and “real world” woes. Therefore, for the week of spring break, I will de-stress by pushing school out, thus freeing up some space for more fun, less exhausting thoughts filling my brain space.

popcornTactic: Netflix. Netflix, in my opinion, is one of the single greatest inventions ever. It plays perfectly into my “avoid everything” mentality for the week. I WILL start that second season and I WILL enjoy that second bag of popcorn while I’m at it. Will I be sorry? No, I will not.

Tactic: Mom time. No matter how old you are, where you live or how “independent” you call yourself, nothing can make you feel better than a classic mom visit. Nothing.

So, after all that analysis and planning, based on the outlined goals, objectives, strategies and tactics, I don’t see why this spring break can’t exceed expectations. But, I’ll keep you posted.

The Single Gal’s Valentine’s Day: A SWOT Analysis

images-1.pngAlthough I personally am not the Valentine’s Day type of girl, for reasons unknown to me, a lot of people are. I assume that comes with a serious relationship or the blossoming of a new beau, but nonetheless, I have not made it there. In order to help myself and others like me further understand this holiday, I have put together a logical, research-based SWOT analysis on being a single gal during Valentine’s Day. Based on experience as well as primary and secondary research, I have laid out strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

First up, strengths. Strengths are internal factors that increase the overall productivity or image within an organization, company, or in this case, holiday.

 Strength #1: There is no pressure.

giphyIn my opinion, this is the most obvious strength of being single during Valentine’s Day. You don’t have to pick out the perfect outfit, plan a fun but not too serious date or worry about buying a gift that sends the wrong message. You can throw on the sweats and relax because you have no expectations. Can you say Grey’s Anatomy marathon? Because I can.

Strength #2: You save money.

All of the things mentioned above (clothes, dates and gifts) require money. So, when those are off the table, you get to save that money and use it on other, more fun things. No need to spend that $50 on the extra large teddy bear. *cha-ching*

Next are weaknesses. Weaknesses also evaluate internal factors. Weaknesses highlight where the organization could see improvement.

Weakness #1: You won’t be getting any gifts on Valentine’s Day.

I know, it’s a real shame and it lessens the anticipation around Valentine’s Day significantly. Without presents, Valentine’s Day is just like the often-overlooked St. Patrick’s Day or President’s Day for us single folks. But hey, this doesn’t mean you can’t get yourself something nice, am I right?

giphy-1

Weakness #2: All your friends in relationships are out of commission.

The fact of the matter is that most people in relationships will have something planned for Valentine’s Day. That means all of your couple friends are booked up for Feb. 14. It’s an unfortunate truth that adds to the list of weaknesses Valentine’s Day provides.

Now, opportunities. Opportunities gauge the external factors affecting an organization. Opportunities evaluate the market and highlight where there are possible footholds to capitalize on.

Opportunity #1: The infamous Galentine’s Day.

Without plans on Valentine’s Day, you are now free to have what I like to call “Galentine’s Day.” If you haven’t heard, Galentine’s Day is a celebration with all your single ladies and is the best way to forget about all your Valentine’s Day woes. Plus, all your single friends will be glad they now have plans for the day. Double win.

giphy-2
Opportunity #2
: Sugary goodness.

It seems like everyone uses Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to bring candy, doughnuts or other goodies to the office or classroom. If you are lucky, you could have the chance to dive into the baked goods only holidays bring. Another plus is the half off candy section starting bright and early on Feb. 15th. Yep, I said it.

Finally, threats. Threats look at factors outside the organization that could have negative implications for the company or that could affect the market as a whole.

giphy-3Threat #1: The constant reminder that you are single.

Throughout the day, no matter how secure you are, it seems like Valentine’s Day is happy to throw in your face the fact that you don’t have “a person.” It is a threat that, unless you are kept busy enough, will likely present itself at some point on Valentine’s Day.

Threat #2: Repeating this cycle again next year.

Hey, being single on Valentine’s Day is not the worst thing, as you can see. But nonetheless, we all hope the next year brings you all love and happiness.

e8d0bcba93310a22e3c9b396b64e199b_red-valentine-valentines-day-hearts-clip-art_550-527

More than “Foreign”

Throughout my time this semester learning about the Nigerian culture, I have been shocked, humored, disheartened and curious. Daniel and I explored things about Nigeria that I knew, things I didn’t know, and things I never thought I would want to know.

Of all the things I absorbed when talking with Daniel, I took away one resounding idea. Nigeria, like the United States and China and Japan, and any other country around the world, is a home. Often times, when thinking about other nations, we deem them “foreign,” and they are, but more than that, they are someone’s refuge, someone’s safety net, someone’s familiar.

nigerianfamilies

When I grasped this idea, my whole perspective changed.

I came to view international countries with a new curiosity.  Instead of studying new places, wondering what the country is like as a whole, I now wonder what a day-to-day interaction is like. I consider the native’s perspective and find myself pondering what it would look like if I were to make a home there. Most of these daydreams include me walking in circles with my head glued to a map, (I am horrible with directions) but it is still exciting to imagine.

This is not to say, however, that Nigeria is like my comfort zone here in America. Quite the opposite, actually. One example of this is Nigeria’s polychronic culture compared to the United Statenigerianpeople‘s monochronic culture. Monochronic cultures value time, punctuality, logic and structure. Polychronic cultures, on the other hand, have more exotic food, exciting sounds, light, color, unique architecture and spectacular scenery. Nigerians and other polychronic nations attempt various tasks at once with more spontaneity but with less regard to time and punctuality.

The idea of monochronic cultures versus polychronic cultures may seem unnecessary now, reading this blog, but it is a valuable asset when considering traveling or even conducting business in an international country. I know, for me, when I am traveling, I will now consider which of these categories my destination country falls in. Similarly, business meetings and ventures could take on a whole new meaning when considering this aspect of a country. More than that, it is helpful to know how the country operates, in order to fully experience all the nation has to offer. Also, it is curcial in order not to offend any of the natives there. I have seen the show “Locked Up Abroad” and I say no thank you.

Not only did I learn about a new country, a new culture and new traditions, I also got a new friend.

auburnfamilyAuburn is really big, but it is also very small. The Auburn Family bridges that gap. The Auburn Family encompasses more than football, game day cheers and catchy posters. It is about coming along side someone, maybe just like you, or maybe, like me and Daniel, someone from across the world and building a relationship, a trust. I don’t know if I will ever find myself in heart of Nigeria, but if I do, I know that a friendship formed in Auburn, Alabama could make all the difference.

The Universal Language: Food

No matter where you are in the world, people come together in two areas: food and celebrations. Nigeria is no exception.

My friend Daniel, a Nigerian native turned Auburn Tiger, highlighted these two things when describing his adjustments here in America.

Daniel told me how much he loves chicken (don’t we all?) and we discussed how something as simple as chicken can be prepared to taste so differently. It’s true though, isn’t it? The reason has to do with spices. Nigerians typically use a more savory palate to prepare dishes. Here in America, we tend to mix it up, using spices that are both sweet and salty, sour and tangy.

Jollof rice and chicken is a staple Nigerian dish, according to Daniel, and is typically served on holidays including Christmas and Easter. Maybe you could try to convince your family to include jollof rice in your Easter dinner this weekend. Hey, it is worth a try, right?

jollof rice
Jollof rice and chicken

Plantains and beans are other foods often littered throughout Nigerian meals. Daniel also told me about akara, which are fried bean cakes. I am, however, less convinced about bringing these to my Easter dinner. I know we love to fry things in the South, but I think beans is where I draw the line. Sorry, Daniel.

akara
Akara, fried beans

We all know food and parties go hand in hand. We can see that on birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and even on the days when you make a good grade and celebrate with a Toomer’s ice cream sandwich. (I know I am not the only one.) Food lifts spirits and gives people a way to connect.

In Nigeria, festivals are where this takes place. The streets are lined with different delicacies where people come together in vivid color to socialize and observe the art of dance. If you aren’t participating, you bring the kids and make it a family affair.

nigerianfestival
Young Nigerian girls showing off their dance and smile at a festival.

As Daniel and I were discussing these festivals and how food plays an integral role, I couldn’t help but compare that with my family’s celebrations and memories shared over a good home cooked meal.

Growing up, we always ate Sunday lunch at my grandmother’s house. Aunts, uncles, cousins, everyone. It was guaranteed.

DSC_0006
My grandmother- doesn’t she look like she could make the best chicken and dumplings?

Therefore, when thinking back on my childhood, and life in general, the times sitting around the table eating my grandmother’s chicken and dumplings are some of the most influential times in my life. For me, it was over food that problems were solved and dreams were realized. It turned cousins into siblings and meals into family affairs.

I realize that there are a lot of stark differences between Nigerian celebrations and south Alabama Sunday lunches, but there are also a lot of similarities.

It is all fundamentally about the same thing, love.

I know it sounds cheesy and it probably is, but that is what food and celebration is about. It is about using tastebuds to tie people and experience together.

(Plus, nothing says love like your grandmother’s homemade cobbler. You can practically taste the hugs in the crust.)

Two Worlds, One Perspective

“Meat isn’t supposed to be sweet. It just isn’t. It can to be spicy, but never sweet.”

These are Daniel Akwa’s thoughts on transitioning from Nigeria to the United States. His biggest adjustment: food. With that value on food, Daniel fits in well here in the South.

Nigerian Food
“Not-so-sweet” Nigerian chicken

Daniel Akwa is my newest friend and source of insight into the world of Nigerian culture. Daniel and I met earlier this week so he could tell me all about his move across the pond and his new life in America. Daniel moved to the United States in August to attend, in my opinion, the best university in the world, Auburn. I asked if this decision was hard on him or his family, to which he replied,

“Not really, I was a bad egg anyway.”

Distance makes the heart grow fonder, right Daniel? He reassured me that his family was keeping busy with his two younger brothers in his absence though.

Nigeria is located in West Africa and is the seventh most populous country in the world. Because of tourism and the oil influx, Nigeria has grown to resemble the Western countries in aspects like department stores, restaurants, and supermarkets. Unlike America though, Nigeria operates under a specific class system and any uncommon complexion could draw unwanted attention. Knowing this, Daniel warned me that if visiting Nigeria, I should be very careful walking at night and he suggested never walking by myself.Map of Nigeria

Festivals, on the other hand, are also a huge part of Nigerian culture. Daniel described them like American carnivals, but with no ferris wheels (bummer) and more food. The festival celebrations observe everything from religious holidays to harvest and rainy seasons. Everyone dresses in traditional Nigerian attire has a big party, with singing and dancing. Another adjustment Daniel described when moving to Alabama was adapting to the American idea of music. He lit up when talking about all the different types of Nigerian music, nothing like Fetty Wap I’m sure.

“In Nigeria, music just makes you want to dance,” he said with a shrug.

When I asked Daniel about Nigerian clothes, he said that the colorful cultural outfits were ONLY for special occasions, not something you break out just to stroll to the market, which I guess I excepted. Otherwise, he said they dress much the same as we do. I had respect for Daniel’s fashion game when he met me for our interview. He wore skinny sweatpants, a hipster jacket and cool Adidas tennis shoes, all of which surprised me. Swagger really is a universal language.

Festivals-Nigeria
Traditional Nigerian festivals are so vivid and pretty!

Overall, Nigeria was everything I expected and nothing I expected. Often times, I get caught up in the “traditional” aspects of not only Nigerian culture, like colorful dresses and native dances that I forget that they wear Adidas tennis shoes just like me. It’s cool to think that we aren’t so different, really, but at the same time, we are and that’s what makes us unique.

Daniel helped me put these two worlds, Nigeria and America, into one perspective. Seeing the world from two sides is both surprising and reassuring. When you have some time, I suggest giving it a try.

Social Media Release: Music and Miracles

Music and Miracles Superfest 2017

This is a proof-of-concept release and not intended for actual use.

Pitch:

Come enjoy some of the biggest names in country music at Music and Miracles Superfest 2017! The event will feature Blake Shelton, Thomas Rhett, Kelsey Ballerini, Lynard Skynard and David Ray. The concert will be held at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Background:

The event is hosted by the Chicken Salad Chick Foundation and was established for two purposes, fighting cancer and feeding the hungry. Music and Miracles Superfest was inspired by the late CSC co-founder, Kevin Brown, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2013 and lost his battle just a few years later. This is the second annual Music and Miracles event.

Facts:

  • The event will be held on Saturday, April 22, 2017. The concert begins at 3 p.m.
  • Music and Miracles FanFest will begin at 11 a.m. on Auburn’s Greenspace.
  • Tickets start at $49 and can be purchased by visiting the Music and Miracles website, here.
  • All people, including infants, must present a ticket at the gate.
  • Parking will be available within walking distance of the stadium. Click here for a full parking map.
  • Music and Miracles merchandise will be available for purchase at FanFest and throughout the stadium.

Photo:

(Photo retrieved by Music and Miracles Facebook)

Video:

Check out this video highlighting the heart behind the Music and Miracles Superfest.

(Video by Basis Entertainment)

Quote:

“Kevin was always at work planning this concert even during his treatment.  It became his mission, purpose and drive right up to the very end,” Stacy Brown, Kevin’s wife, explains.  “It was Kevin’s dream to make history, to make music and to make miracles at Jordan-Hare.”

Music and Miracles Social Media:

Music and Miracles Contact:

  • Basis Entertainment

35989 Highway 69

Forest City, IA 50436

  • Email: info@basisent.com

Extension Spotlight: Henry Dorough

Photo by: Alabama Cooperative Extension System

From the farm to the forest, Talladega County Extension Coordinator with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Henry Dorough has one driving force, helping people.

Committed to helping farmers see success, Dorough cherishes the relationships and the victories he experiences throughout his work as an agent.

“Part of the job is going out and finding the research and the data to help them (farmers) make a change,” Dorough states. “When they come back and share with you, ‘hey you made a difference,’ that’s the most special part.”

Dorough, and extension agents alike, not only make a difference agriculturally but financially as well.

“They need answers that will have a potential impact on the bottom line of their sustainable operations,” Dorough says. “We offer those real-life solutions that change people’s lives.”

Growing up a Navy brat, Dorough was rarely exposed to extension work. He credits his college professors for sparking his interest in the field he now makes a career out of.

“As an undergraduate, a couple of my professors, who were extension specialists, turned me on to some of the work they were doing,” Dorough says.

Photo by: HD Farms

Dorough explains how his professors gave him “special assignments” that provided him with hands-on experience and valuable learning opportunities.

“They would take questions they received from farmers across the state and give them to me,” Dorough says. “They would ask me to write it up for them, get them the solution and what answer should go to the farmer.”

Graduating with a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree from Auburn University, Dorough began his extension career as a county agent in Calhoun County.

After serving there for eight years, he transitioned to Talladega County where he served as its county agent before moving to a regional animal science and forages agent position.

Photo by: HD Farms

Working specifically in animal science, Dorough considers that his area of expertise, along with forage production. He has a special interest, though, in one particular area, sheep and goats.
“One of my goals in life was to have a farm,” Dorough states. “I didn’t now exactly what I was going to get into with farming. It just evolved and we ended up raising sheep.”

In his spare time, Dorough sells whole lambs farm to table, building a market base across the state by customer word of mouth.

“Having that background, doing it myself builds credibility with my extension clientele, especially with people that are new to extension,” Dorough says.

Both his personal and professional experience helps Dorough guide farmers on tending and maintaining these small animals.

“My farm always seems to tie into my job in some standpoint,” Dorough states. “I have real world experience I can share with people.”

Pictured (left to right): Mickey Cummings, Georgia; Fred Miller, North Carolina; Stan Moore, Michigan and Dorough, Alabama. Photo by: Three Men and a Yankee Hiking Challenge

When Dorough is not working or farming, you can find him with a wearing a backpack hiking with three of his closest friends.

With two treks planned per year, Dorough and his companions have set out to section hike the Appalachian Trail.

“We just decided one day, ‘let’s go do it’,” Dorough states. “Let’s just start at the southern end and start moving our way north and see how far we get in the rest of our life.”

Dubbed “Three Men and a Yankee,” the group is made up of past and current extension agents from Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Michigan, each member being a former president of the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.

Photo by: Three Men and a Yankee Hiking Challenge

“It’s fun, four of us, four different states,” Dorough says. “I will be retired and probably in my 70s before I finish the trail but I plan on doing it.”

Driven and dedicated, Dorough has worked to educate, cultivate and encourage farmers, all through his work as an extension agent.

“I have enjoyed every minute of my career, Dorough says. “I found my place and I enjoy it.”

For more information on Dorough or the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, click here.

 

What I Wish I Knew

Everyone says hindsight is 20/20 right? Well, that is certainly the case when it comes to learning the lessons college life brings. Arriving on campus as a freshman, students are wide-eyed and hopeful for everything college will bring. New friends, activities, and opportunities are around every corner, all valuable tools to make the most of the college atmosphere. Like starting a new job, or going somewhere for the first time, there are always unknowns. It is the unknowns, however, that grow and stretch students into success. Nevertheless, one can avoid learning the hard way, by looking to the experience of others for the tricks of the trade, the helpful hints and the lessons learned only from experience.

In hopes to act as a guiding hand for those freshmen, here are four Auburn students who describe what they wish someone had told them and what they would tell themselves as they stepped foot into the next four years.

Matthew Youngblood, Junior, Building Science

“Something that I wish I knew now, that I didn’t know then, are all the dining options on campus,” Youngblood says.

“I just went to Terrell this semester, and it is a lot closer to all of the classes,” Youngblood adds.

Working to offer students the best college experience, Auburn University’s Campus Dining offers a dynamic assortment of dining options throughout campus. This accommodates the different taste buds and busy schedules of Auburn’s diverse student body. As a freshman, be sure to explore all the dining options Auburn offers. From barbecue to donuts, Auburn’s campus is littered with venues to satisfy all your cravings.

Mallory Smith, Senior, Accounting

“Something I wish someone would have told me coming into college is to fully enjoy the differences in all the people I am going to meet,” Smith says. “Therefore, I could learn as much as possible from everyone and all of their life experiences instead of waiting until junior or senior year to realize that there is exponential value in the differences in every person.”

Auburn acknowledges and values the benefits that a diverse campus community provides. Auburn students are prepared for life and leadership in a multicultural world. Be sure you take advantage of that as you walk onto campus.

Travis Adcox, Senior, Finance

“If I  could go back and tell myself something my freshman year, I would say, ‘find a church to get plugged into’. I would make my friends based around my church,” Adcox says.

No matter your religious background, students have ample opportunities to continue to grow and connect. Offering various religious organizations on campus like Baptist Campus Ministries, Muslim Students Association, Reformed University Fellowship, and Campus Crusade for Christ, Auburn is dedicated to catering to the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of all students.

Payton Beck, Senior, Public Relations

“I wish I would have known, going into college that it is okay not to have your life together,” Beck says.

“Sometimes I felt the pressure that you had to be on your A-game 24/7 and that is just not the case. You just roll with the punches and it is all going to be okay.”

Auburn has a unique way of stretching, challenging and nurturing students in a way that prepares them whatever their future brings. Like Beck states, it is okay not to know, it is okay to ask for help and it is okay to make mistakes and learn the hard way. It is important, though, to look to those who have already completed the journey to maybe save yourself from a few of those mistakes. Cherish these precious years, you have an amazing adventure waiting ahead of you. Make the most of it.