High school juniors and seniors have many choices to consider when it comes to college. Would they rather be an Auburn Tiger or a Clemson Tiger? Is it better to stay close to home or move farther away? All the statistics from college brochures and websites tend to run together, often leaving students and parents overwhelmed.
How does a college stand out and how do you know where you fit in?
I'm currently sitting in a local coffee shop with my dog beside me, and the owner just came out to give us a free homemade doggie treat. At the counter are projects from local artisans and right outside is a painted piano, free for all to play. Campus is just down the street and one can see people hammocking in the trees, playing frisbee on Samford lawn, and having deep discussions over sandwiches with homemade frozen "pops" bought at a local food cart. This weekend, a group of friends is going hiking at nearby Chewacla State Park, and a up-and-coming band is performing in downtown Opelika. This is where I fit in - this is my school.
I knew it from the first visit to Auburn. I could picture myself not only going to class, but also thriving in the community and loving it. After all, only a small fraction of time is spent in class and while that is wildly important, what about the remaining time? Being able to find inspiration and encouragement in one's surroundings is vital. Architecture senior Heather Crabtree agrees, saying "There are those schools where you love it on paper, but then you get there and decide it's not for you. It just doesn’t have it.”
Current senior Caleb List was raised as an Auburn Tiger and loved gamedays, but he says that his three years in college here have helped him appreciate much more, such as the downtown culture. "Mama Mochas Coffee Emporium might be my favorite spot," he shares. Jacksonville-native Katie Bottenhorn had narrowed her college choices based on academics, but says her visit to the university is what sealed the deal. "The campus definitely took me off guard, being that beautiful." she says.
Many students agree that campus visits are what helped their families make the commitment to Auburn. But what about those who aren't able to travel to distant schools to help with the decision process? Crabtree recalls the stress of her senior year saying, "I love Auburn now and it's the right place for me, but I wish I was able to visit beforehand."
What better way to learn about Auburn than from students? They live here for four years (and sometimes longer), studying, eating, working, playing, and exploring. We’ve opened the floor for current and former students to share their favorite moments and places. So you ask "What's Auburn really like?" Well, here's your answer - through the eyes of a tiger. photo credits: Unsplash; Josh Hallet, Flickr
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