Everything I Learned At Georgia Southern: Freshman Year

In my final weeks as a Georgia Southern student, I’m going to look back at how each year has defined my life and has led me to where I am today.

The first thing I noticed was the license plates. There were so many people from different parts of the country, with backgrounds much different than mine. In the parking lot of Johnson Hall, I moved in by myself because my Mom had to work. Collecting my things into the orange bins, I realized things were going to be different than in my town of 150 people.  At home, everyone knew me and all of my life history. Here, I was just another freshman.

I went to a fraternity party with a friend of mine from high school. Never even considering Greek Life, I found it interesting, but didn’t plan to do anything with it. After a long night of partying, the president at the time convinced me to sign up for rush; he even filled out my online registration.

In the “interview process” you go through during Rush, I overheard someone with the same interests. We went to IHOP for a late night snack and hit it off quickly. While I didn’t end up getting the bid that what I wanted, I made a friend that would end up sticking by me.

After a failed Greek attempt, I hung out with my friends from high school. It wasn’t bad. They were my friends after all, but I wasn’t challenged or experiencing growth as an individual. Everything was the same as it was, just in another place.

Soon after, the fraternity reconsidered their decision and invited me to join. So began the process of becoming Greek, and my life changed forever. Suddenly, I started to see things in a different light, looking at people in different ways, learning to get along with people that I wouldn’t have ever thought about hanging out with otherwise. I started to participate in community service, leadership activities, and considered getting involved in other organizations my brothers took part.

Some of them were great, and others weren’t for me. Unlike high school, where you had limited choices, here there was the chance for opportunity and diversity. The absolutes in life were no longer as clear, with new ideas and viable alternative lifestyles that I had never experienced.

While Johnson Hall doesn’t stand anymore, the principles that surrounded my first impression still stands. In college, you meet a lot of different people, some who accept you for who you are presently, while others recognize that together, you can become something better.

College becomes like a moving bin; you put things in, you take things out, and sometimes, you don’t have help to guide you. But along the way, you discover that being here means more than what you are.

It means where you happen to be going.

  1. Love the analogy of the moving bin, James. Knowing what a talented filmmaker you are, we love this little peek into your development. Looking forward to seeing what sophomore year had in store for you…

    All the best.
    Julie & Jessica

    • Antonio
    • April 22nd, 2010

    Yea, GSU will do it to you. Thinking you will have a certain type of interaction when really, youre jsut another fresman, however, still great times!

    • candicehall
    • April 22nd, 2010

    I really in enjoyed reading this post James! I definitely think I have learned so much in college, and I don’t just mean facts and figures.. I mean about people. I can honestly say that although I lived in a crappy,old dorm, I loved it! I met so many cool people in the dorms that I would have never had the opportunity to meet otherwise. The people from Olliff Hall will always have that in common and I love that. I also loved reading about your experience going Greek. I spent my entire freshman year knocking anyone and anything Greek. I did not see the point. I was making tons of friends and swore I didn’t need or want to be a part of a sorority. But like you, I met someone in ADPi that I really connected with and she is what made me change my mind about that subculture called Greeks. I met so many people in ADPi and really discovered a lot about myself as well as about other people. ADPi was also one of the first situations where I saw young adults working for something. It was way different than any high school group. Anyways.. nice post! And I am so thankful that I was able to meet you here at GSU!

  1. April 22nd, 2010

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