Category Archives: Agnes Scott College

Colleges That Change Lives | Agnes Scott

agnes scott college

Both women and education have been under fire quite a bit lately. I want to bring some light to one of the most incredible institutions in higher education. A women’s college. My college. Agnes Scott College.

More than once, we’ve been featured in the book and on the website Colleges that Change Lives. I absolutely stand behind this naming. Agnes Scott absolutely changed my life. I’ve said time and time again that my college experience was the best thing that could have happened to me. Let me tell you a little more about the college that changed my life for the absolute better.

Agnes Scott and the scholarship I am forever grateful to have earned put my life on a trajectory that I never could have imagined for myself. It took a small-town girl from Idaho and plucked her out of the middle of a wheat field, setting her down in Atlanta. That alone allowed me to be pulled and grow into a different woman. I learned so much from living in a diverse city and neighborhood full of wonderful people that showed me how much I still have to learn.

The experiences I had and the people I met supported and drew out of me the strength and skills that were in me. They helped me become a leader, a caretaker, a lover, and a fierce fighter.

Even now, I am using what I learned.

My college made me capable of doing what I’m determined to. Agnes Scott encouraged in me a work ethic that stays with me still. Now, working 6 days a week during the school year (most of the time). But I get to work at a job I find so much joy and fulfillment in because I learned how to work hard and keep moving. I became even more convicted that every person deserves the very best in life and that I need to do my part to bring more love and learning to one of the most poverty and violence stricken neighborhoods in  Chicago. The mindset I gained also allows me to see it as so much more. Just as Atlanta became my home and my community, Chicago has become my home and community. My students have become my kids.

This is home, and my life is forever changed because of a college that took a chance on that girl from small-town Idaho.

5 years!

High School to College

High School graduation to college graduation with my big brother!

How in the world has it been 5 years since I’ve graduated high school? I know it’s not a big milestone to some, but something hit me after writing my last post. I also came home to Idaho for a visit and received a letter. From myself. 5 years ago and about to graduate high school.

A lot of things have changed in 5 years. I know I have changed and grown and accomplished and my dreams have changed. However, there are some things that just haven’t changed. Today, I’d like to share a few quotes from that letter. It’s so strange to read this letter that in so many ways sounds just like me but at the same time, that girl seems like a completely different person.

On travel:

“That night, something changed inside of you, grabbed onto something there and didn’t let go. You made a realization that night. You knew from then on that this would be a big part of who you are. You are a person who travels, a person who experiences as much as you can, and a person who isn’t letting that go. Please don’t let that go. ”

On perfection:

“You don’t have to be perfect all the time… You don’t always have to go further and do even better. Take things more as they come. You just need to do the best you can do, and be happy with that. Do all that you can, and that will be just fine, even if it’s not perfect.”

On worry:

“It may seem like the simplest lesson to learn- don’t worry about the things you can’t change. Don’t try to control the things that are beyond your power. You can handle anything, really. Because you can’t control what happens about some things, you just have to change your opinion about the situation to make it bearable.”

On the future:

Overall, this year, and all your years at Genesee Schools have been full. This year in particular has been a year of emotional growth and maturity as I’ve prepared for my life in the future- your life. In five years, I see myself finishing my degree and working. I think I’ll be living in Atlanta still, and figuring out where to go to graduate school and if I really wat to go to graduate school. Is that what you are doing now? I hope you are still passionate about whatever you are doing, and above all, I hope you are enjoying and loving life in the same way I am now, if not even more so.

On forgiveness:

If you’ve made mistakes, don’t worry. Remember- its ok to not be perfect. I forgive you.

My mother was right. | An ode to Mom

an ode to mom

“My mother was right.”

A phrase I uttered weekly throughout college while giving campus tours to potential students and their families. My mother convinced me to just give Agnes Scott a try. “Just apply, you might like it.” I was determined that I would no way, no how, be attending a women’s college. But I applied anyway.

And with pride, during every tour, when telling my story of how I came to be at Agnes Scott, I would end up telling the group my mother was right. This would garner laughs from parents and groans from 17 year olds who were only there because their parents insisted.

I’ve already written about why I ended up loving my women’s college. This post, though, is about how much meaning there was behind that phrase that had nothing to do with my education.

My mother was right. Is right. Always.

Mom

I wish high-school me knew that then.

She is right in that she has always shown strength and grace in the face of hardship or trying times.

She was right in showing me that sometimes you just have to let people be mad. You can’t change it, but you can stop talking and walk away. Letting them think they won is ok sometimes.

She was right in showing me that some Rod Stewart and peanut M&M’s can fix almost any heartbreak or disappointment.

And for the heartbreaks that those can’t fix, you can always call home.

She was right when she encouraged me to get my education.

She was right when instead of telling me what to do and saving me from heartbreak, she let me experience the fall, as it was a lesson I could only learn the hard way.

She was right when she said I’d come home a new person after my year in Mexico.

She was right the many times she’s said “It’s all gonna be ok. All good.”

She was right to teach me so many things:

From how to value integrity, forgiveness, and true kindness to how laugh at myself and be able to joke and poke and not get easily offended.

She taught me to hold hands whenever possible with the ones you love. Life is better that way.

I learned confidence and strength and that lifting others up was the best way to lift yourself.

I learned that I was born to be a mom. I learned this because I heard my own mother say that phrase and all of a sudden everything made sense. Of course, I was made to be many more things before and in addition to that. But I was made to be a mother someday.

I learned that feeling our loved ones around us and having that “knowing” wasn’t creepy or weird, it is a gift that we were given to be treasured.

Through every goal reached, every heartache, every trial, tear, and laugh, my mom is the one I can always turn to for support and guidance. She taught me kindness and grace and extended both of these to me countless times, even when I was less than kind or deserving of that grace.

She taught me the biggest lesson of all:

Love can conquer all things.

hawaii.jpg

Love wins.

My mother was so right.

“Why Would Anyone Want to go to a Women’s College?”

women's college agnes scott

“Do you hate men?”

“Are you so boy crazy that you can’t focus with them in the classroom?”

No and no. But these are actual questions I’ve gotten about my time at Agnes Scott College.

Agnes Scott

The best decision I ever made.

Let me address the first question (and title of this post) with my answer of why I chose Agnes Scott College, one of the top Liberal Arts women’s colleges in the country.

Before visiting I was 100% sure that there was No-Way-No-How you’d catch me at a women’s college. I was confident already, boys in the classroom didn’t scare me. I soon realized that wasn’t the point. The type of woman who attends Agnes Scott College and other women’s colleges are the opposite of afraid.

From my first steps on campus where I was immediately greeted by some of the most intelligent, confident, fearless and together women I’d ever met, I knew that I had stumbled into something amazing. Over the rest of that first weekend that I spent at Agnes Scott interviewing, attending panels, and talking with current students, I became 100% certain that it was the college for me.

I saw that the women of Agnes Scott were there to get the best education possible- a rigorous curriculum mixed with real world experiences and plenty of extracurricular activities to explore and grow in. These women cared about my passions and my goals in life, and we were in an environment that would nurture and allow me to cultivate my interests. I knew I wanted that. I wanted to be that kind of woman.

Current students at Agnes Scott welcomed me right away- before I was even officially a student there. The entire campus community was like that, welcoming me in enthusiastically and excited about the type of woman I could become.

I wanted a place where I could focus on my education and future, and that place for me was a women’s college.

black cat agnes scott

Was it easy? No, but not for the lack of men.
I worked harder and more was expected of me at Agnes Scott than of my friends at other co-ed schools. This is not to say that all co-ed schools are easy, as I’m sure they aren’t, but the academic rigor at Agnes Scott is not to be compared to basket weaving and cooking classes.

And men? Psh, we were in Atlanta! There are plenty of other schools around when you want to go out. Some of my best friends are men who went to Georgia State and Morehouse!

Was it fun? Absolutely.

I spent time discussing real world issues and time discussing shoes and clothes. I partied with my friends and I studied and worked and researched with them as well. The friends I made at my women’s college will be my friends for a lifetime. They are as diverse as they come with so many varying goals and dreams. And that’s the beauty of it. We laughed and cried together and experienced college life together.

jennifer nettles, sugarland

Doesn’t hurt to follow a legacy of incredible women like Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland!

I spent my four years at college surrounded by ambitious, feisty, intelligent women who encouraged and supported me at every turn.

With all that being said,

Why wouldn’t I want to go to a women’s college?

Dear Class of 2017,

Happy Black Cat!

I realize many of you may never read this, but I feel the need to write it anyway.

You are all now officially Scotties. Welcome, and congratulations! You’ve made what could be the single best decision of your life, and you are most definitely in for a great adventure in the next four years.

I know you’re all currently probably thinking you’re settled in and getting the hang of this college thing, but I hope you are all in for the ride of your life.

You are the new yellow class. A class of power, determination, attitude, and strength. Our class of 2013 is trusting you to carry on this legacy as we pass the color on to you. I know it may not seem like the best of colors (I own way more blue than yellow! Red seems more intense! Green is so pretty! I hear you, trust me) BUT let me tell you, you can TOTALLY rock yellow. It will look good with whatever skin tone. And ya know, if it doesn’t, wear it proudly anyway. Make connections with your new class, your new sisters, and the place in which you will spend your next four years.

THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS YOU CAN DO WITH YELLOW! Think outside the box. Paint things yellow. Caution tape is yellow. Some tractors are yellow. Yellow cars exist. Rubber duckies, bananas, Pikachu, the sun, macaroni and cheese, yellow submarines, itsy bitsy yellow polka dot bikinis, MINIONS! You are creative women, you’ll get there, I promise. The quad looked great from the pictures, keep on owning it.

During Orientation, you most likely heard President Kiss tell you that you are feisty more than once, and she’s right. You’re joining the ranks of some of the feistiest, most amazing, intelligent, kind, and wonderful women I’ve ever met. With time, you’ll hear about the make up of your class (you guys are from all over!) You’ll hear about famous alums (Jennifer Nettles was a member of a yellow class too!) and you’ll hear about alum, staff, faculty and upperclasswomen who will help you get through these next four years. Listen to all of these incredible people. They’re right. Mostly. If you don’t think they are, say it. They’ll also be open to what you have to say.

Moving on in your Agnes Scott career, you will struggle. It will will hard. “It” meaning academics, mental stability, and life in general. I know sometimes being a first-year is hard. I know sometimes other years will be hard. You will probably fall and crash and burn at some point (or several). But don’t doubt for one minute that your sisters and the support system that surrounds you will lift you back up and help you get through each and every low point you face. The girls you are beginning to get close to will be the women that will be there for you no matter what, 2pm or 2am, just because you need them. They will be the women who will change the world and help you do the same. They will be the women who will cheer you on and celebrate your greatest achievements with you. You will learn, grow, and love together.

The chant that you undoubtedly heard a ton during Bonfire of “WE LOVE OUR SISTERS!” isn’t just words. I can tell you 100% that I love, love, love, the women that I graduated with. I love the women who will graduate in the years before you. They all inspire me to be better every single day.

Continue the legacy you’ve been left. Love each other. Support each other.

Agnes Scott isn’t just a college, it’s home for so many people. Treat it well.

We love our sisters. We love you already.

Sincerely,

The Valkyries, Class of 2013

From our first year to our Senior year ad beyond. These women are the best.

From our first year to our Senior year and beyond. These women are the best.

Tomorrow.

(Bare with me here, I’m on some cold meds and my mind isn’t quite at peak performance, but I feel the need to write this out tonight. Every teacher in my school is sick right now, yuck! We all shared the same germs, I suppose!)

Wow, is it the end of summer already? I guess it is, and I guess that’s why my mind and body feel so confused. I know it’s not news to anyone to hear that post-grad life is hard and confusing when you don’t know what exactly you’re supposed to be doing with your life.

Tomorrow is my last day of teaching my kiddos.

Tomorrow is move in day at Agnes Scott College for the new first-years. The new yellow class. The class that will take over what we left behind.

My heart feels like I belong there. Like that’s still the life I get to live. But it’s not. I am not supposed to be there as Orientation Council to help move in the new class. I’m not supposed to be returning for another year of classes at my beloved Agnes. I’m not supposed to be settling into Rebekah 304 with Maddie (even though I totally would still want to do this part).

This is a new phase of my life.

I don’t get to go back to that life.

And though it seems a bit silly and pretty obvious to type it out, it doesn’t feel obvious. I feels a lot harder than I expected. Giving up what I knew and thrived in has been harder than I thought it would be, simply because I didn’t realize that graduating meant living a new life. Agnes Scott will always be an important part of my life, but that’s not my life anymore.

I am no longer a college student. I am no longer a student at Agnes Scott. That’s not what my life is anymore.

I know this is getting repetitive, but I’m trying to find a way to put into words what I’ve been feeling. I’m failing, clearly, but I feel…

I still feel like a college student. I still feel too young to have already been through and graduated from college. I feel like I’m not quite ready. But then again, life doesn’t wait until your ready.

It just comes along, happens, and passes all before you know it.

However, I feel confident in my ability to take on whatever challenge and adventure comes next. Having attended Agnes Scott makes me feel ready to take on the world, albeit one day at a time. And maybe I don’t feel quite like I’m supposed to twenty-something just yet, but I feel like I have the foundation to face this life head on, and work hard to figure out what comes next.