Dashed Miconceptions of the Honors College Lifestyle

Lindsay_DavenportWhat 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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Finding Female Inspiration: Bonnie St. John, DC Cupcakes, and Outstanding Alumni

McKenzie_SheltonFeminism used to have many negative connotations that we as Americans are overcoming everyday. To me, a feminist is someone who stands up for equality.  I’ve been called a feminist before, and yes, I do stand up for women’s rights, but I like to think of myself as more of a “humanist.”  I stand up for everyone’s rights.

When I read about or encounter a woman who has paved her own road, she inspires me to be a woman who makes my life what I want it to be.  October 10th was the 10th Anniversary of the ECU Women’s Roundtable Event.  It was fantastic, including the induction of 10 incredible women of ECU (one of which was our new Dean, Dr. Marianna Walker!), a keynote address by the sisters who run Georgetown Cupcakes and star in TLC’s DC Cupcakes, an alumni panel, and a luncheon speech by Paralympic gold medalist Bonnie St. John.  These women spoke respectively on the trials and joys of entrepreneurship and running their own business, the road they traveled to be the sensational women that they are now, and the challenges and lessons of growing up with a prosthetic leg.

These women were glorious, seeming to carry an aura about them that exuded intelligence, graciousness, and a subtle, yet fierce, determination to succeed.  They seemed to genuinely care about all of our futures—all 500 of the guests at the event—and made me personally feel like I could overcome all of the leadership struggles I’ve been facing recently.  I’ve been having a hard time prioritizing, finding inspiration to complete tasks with passion, and be a healthy (mind, body, and soul) human being!  However, listening to these successful women has really empowered me.  Kay Chalk paid the $100 fee for nearly fifty female students in the Honors College to attend the Women’s Roundtable.  I know that they have been equally as inspired as I feel!  Thanks once again, Honors College and most excellent and esteemed donors.  We love you!

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A Crystal Coast Get-Away

Keerthana_VelappanI attended the Crystal Coast trip all day Saturday, September 21, 2013. The group’s first stop was the Cape Lookout Lighthouse (via ferry), which seemed daunting at first, but the climb was actually not bad at all! Of course, once we reached the top, there were selfies galore. After that, we walked over to the beach area where we set up a picnic lunch (there was even hummus!) at the benches.  We were then free to go swimming, explore the area, or chitchat and get to know each other! We were there for an hour or two, and then we walked back to the bus to travel to the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knolls Shores, where we were surprised with sand dollar gifts courtesy of one of the members of the Honors College Advancement Council. I couldn’t remember the last time I had been to an aquarium, so I had a great time walking around and “playing” with the fishes! I (along with a few others) became obsessed with the sea turtles because they appeared to be playing hard-to-get, and it was quite amusing to watch; I even got a sea turtle globe souvenir!

Sea turtle globe!

Sea turtle globe!


The aquarium was definitely my favorite part of the entire trip. After spending about an hour at the aquarium (armed with trinkets and stuffed animals from the gift shop), our last stop for the day was Fort Macon, where we got to tour various executive buildings as well as see Civil War weaponry.
Group shot at Fort Macon!

Group shot at Fort Macon!


All in all, it was a fun-filled and relaxing trip, and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to go!!! If this trip were done next year, I would definitely want to go again.

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An Adventurous Start to Freshman Year

Patrick_TwisdaleMy first living-learning trip with the Honors College was spectacular! Post-Labor day beach time, historical adventuring, and marine life viewing would summarize our excursion to Crystal Cove, Fort Macon, and the Aquarium at Pine Knolls. We began the trip by traveling to Crystal Cove by bus and ferry. Once we arrived, we got to climb the lighthouse and view the whole island from atop of its summit. Although I personally have a fear of heights, it was still exciting to view the island with an aerial view. Afterward, we had a picnic on the beach with Dr. Runyan’s Iron Chef-rivaling cuisine. Once lunch was consumed, we proceeded to jump into the water, play Frisbee, or lay out and read. This ended after about a good hour and a half, when we left to head to the aquarium. Inside of the aquarium we saw many different species of fish, amphibians, and reptiles along with a replica of U-352, a sunken German U-boat during WWII. Finally, we went to the last activity of the trip which was Fort Macon. The Fort was exciting for those of us who especially like to discuss history with one another, which is most of us in the Honors College. With that the day ended and we traveled back to campus. It was a truly fun day that I will remember when I look back on my freshman year.

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Move-in Madness

Denver_HollingsworthOnce 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.

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