What is it like to live within the Honors College dorm surrounded day and night by all Honors College students? My first thought about living in Garrett Hall was that I would be surrounded by smart people who would study all of the time. After a week of living in Garrett Hall, I knew I had a serious misconception about what it would be like living with Honors students. I quickly became friends with a variety of boys and girls in Garrett Hall. I live on the second floor, but I have friends from all three floors. I think being put in a dorm together was the best setting for us; we are all there for each other and to help each other when someone needs it. It ensures that every Honors student will be bonded to a number of other Honors students, and it fosters an environment of learning, friendship, and FUN! I thoroughly enjoy living in Garrett Hall. It has given me people I can rely on for help if I need it and has given me the opportunity to make multiple great friendships.
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Once I graduated high school, I was incredibly excited to begin my college experience. I was thrilled to be enrolled in the Honors College, but I was anxious to begin my living experience at ECU with a lot of people I did not know. I come from a very small town with a high school senior class of less than one hundred, so I was not used to being in a room—much less living in a room—with people I had not known my whole life.
The night before move-in day, my stomach was full of butterflies. Would I like my roommate? Would we get along? Questions circled through my mind all night, but I was still pumped to be living away on my own.
The morning of the move, my family packed up our car, and we drove to Garrett Hall. My first impression of the process was chaos: students running to and fro with parents in tow, all carrying various dorm room essentials. I was certainly nervous, but it was a nervous excitement that I enjoyed. All of the Garrett Hall staff members were incredibly nice, and I was surprised to find my random roommate and I got along very well. The first night in the dorm was a bit nerve-racking, but I enjoyed the experience tremendously. Every moment living in the dorm was hectic, chaotic, and crazy, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Move-in day for me was 2 years ago now, and it seems like a lifetime ago. I made so many friends within those halls and even more memories that will stay with me forever.
Becoming an Honors student at ECU is sincerely the best decision I have made in my life thus far. I literally wake up every morning knowing that I made the right decision, and that is a great feeling to wake up to! When deciding on colleges, I was stuck in between UNC-Chapel Hill and the Honors College at ECU. Being from Chapel Hill, it was a really hard choice to make: do I want to stay closer to my family who I am really close to and go to a great school, or do I want to move away, accept a four-year scholarship and have a shot at going to the best nursing school in the state? There was a lot of pressure from almost everyone I met to go to UNC. It has long been regarded as the top public university in the state of North Carolina and it is known for an outstanding quality of education. ECU was offering me unbelievable opportunities at the same time and when I came to ECU for the Honors College Preview Day, I left with no doubts—ECU was the place for me.
Being an Honors student at ECU means so many unique things. It means having tuition paid for a full four years, and who couldn’t use that help? College is crazy expensive. It means living in Garrett Hall–the best dorm on campus because it’s close to the gym, library, academic buildings, and most importantly of course, the dining hall! I describe the Honors College in this way to everyone who asks me about college: it’s like a sorority without all the bad stuff. We get to know each other really well because we live together and participate in service projects as well as other events that are just for fun, and have grown to know each other so well in these short two and a half months we have been here. It’s like living with a bunch of brothers and sisters I have already laughed with, cried with, taken care of, and given advice to. It’s an amazing bond I trust will last forever.
The thing that stands out most about being an Honors Student at ECU is the personalized education. I have classes with only 10 other students in them because I get to take honors classes as an Honors Student. I get to take a class all about leadership and service. I stand out to all of my professors because they see how hard I work as an Honors student. I get to check books out for a whole semester and I get to run over to the Mamie Jenkins building at 9:45 and print out a paper for the next day for free. I can email any one of the faculty members of the Honors College and know I will be sitting in their office the next day working out whatever issue I have. I’m not a number; I’m a student that will succeed because I am surrounded by support.
I know that many high school seniors will be in the same boat I was in less than a year ago. Don’t be scared! Don’t be scared to move away and become more independent. I see my family all the time, but now I have my own life at ECU as well. Don’t be scared to do what people least expect when it comes to choosing colleges. Don’t be scared to be proud of your choice. Most of all don’t be scared to listen to you. Be brave, be daring. You will receive an outstanding and challenging education here at ECU and in the Honors College—I know I am. GO PIRATES!!
The inaugural year for the Honors College at East Carolina University has come to an end. Our students, faculty, staff, and partners, have built an incredible foundation over these past two semesters. New and innovative courses were launched, diverse and multidisciplinary seminars were delivered, and students engaged in a wide array of service and leadership experiences in their communities. As the College delivered these experiences to our current students, we also launched the first full recruitment and admissions process for the incoming class of fall 2011. This effort resulted in more than 100 new students joining the Honors College in August.
The College experienced a tremendous number of successes this past year. In August, we hosted our inaugural Honors College Convocation. This event featured remarks from Chancellor Ballard, Provost Sheerer, and others, and served as a milestone event for the Honors College. Each of the freshmen students had the opportunity to meet with senior administrators and friends of the university in a reception that followed the event. Our EC Scholars program continued to engage in strong partnerships around the region and contributed significant amounts of service to the local Golden Living Center and the Children’s Hospital at Pitt County Memorial Hospital. The freshman class was fortunate to have a private audience with New York Times best-selling author and ECU alumnus, Tommy Spaulding. In April, The Honors College relocated to the historic Mamie Jenkins Building and held a rededication event hosted by the chancellor. Throughout the year, a number of our faculty and students received university and national awards and recognitions. Finally, we congratulated 42 Honors students and 16 EC Scholars as they graduated from the university this past month.
As we look forward to the next academic year, there is much to be excited about. Interim Dean and Chancellor Emeritus Richard Eakin is leading an incredible team of faculty and staff who are committed to delivering an experience second-to-none for each of our students. As we continue to upgrade the facilities available to Honors students, our living-learning community is relocating this summer to Garrett Hall, just steps away from Mamie Jenkins. Additionally, the student library space within Mamie Jenkins is being upgraded to include more technology and support for our students. Our programs are growing stronger as we continue to pursue new partnerships and strengthen existing ones. As we embark on the summer months and finalize planning for the upcoming year, we will continue to work hard to identify unique and exciting opportunities for our Honors College students. We hope you will keep up with our progress by following us online or by planning a visit to the Mamie Jenkins Building so you can see the incredible space that is now fully functional for the Honors College.
On behalf of all of us at the Honors College, thank you for taking an interest in our new program for talented undergraduate students. We truly believe that we are making an important impact to these students, our university, the region, and the state. Should you be in a position to support the Honors College as a partner, mentor, or contributor, please never hesitate to be in touch.
Associate Dean of the Honors College
During my first semester here at ECU, I had the privilege of living in the Honors dorm. The experience of being part of the Living and Learning Community for Honors College students is beneficial in so many ways. As Honors College students, we meet together for Honors classes, but we also live together in the same building. This community allows us to build relationships within the Honors College that we can maintain throughout our careers at East Carolina University. It is also the perfect environment in which to build study groups and work on projects. Living on campus allows easy access to all of the resources of the library, as well as Mendenhall, and the Student Recreation Center.