Choosing a college can be a difficult experience. You want to choose a place that will feel like home for the next four years. You’re looking for a university that best fits the qualities and characteristics that you value in a school. In my own college search, I was looking for small class sizes, challenging academics, and a close knit community. I wanted to have the opportunity to participate in meaningful internships, groundbreaking undergraduate research opportunities, and exciting study abroad trips. At the end of my search, my choice was Furman, and I do not think I could possibly have made a better decision. I thought I might share a few of my favorite facets of the Furman experience in order to help you imagine yourself as a Paladin.
Furman might be for you if…
1. You want to be a part of a close-knit campus community. As a student at Furman, you’ll live on our campus all four years. Living on campus allows you the opportunity to get to know students and staff of all ages. Whether you are a freshman or a senior, you’ll live within walking distance of your professors’ offices, the dining hall, and all of our exciting campus events. With 2700 students, Furman is small enough that you will see familiar faces everywhere you go – a constant reminder that you are a part of the Furman family. At the same time that I appreciate these small-school charms, I also think that the size is large enough that there is always someone new to meet and something new to discover. Furman’s size is a perfect middle-ground between a small school and a large school, and that was the perfect fit for me!
2. You want to create sincere and meaningful relationships with your professors. Throughout my four years at Furman, I was constantly amazed by the kindness, generosity, and dedication of Furman professors. Experts in their fields of study, Furman’s faculty members are always eager and willing to give of their time and talents. They encourage their students to think critically, to ask tough questions, to challenge their assumptions, and to seek a better understanding of the complex world in which we live. Their passion for their subjects and genuine interest in their students create unique and personalized opportunities for learning and reflection. Serving as lifelong mentors and friends, professors at Furman help students to grow and mature into better scholars and more engaged members of the world community. When I was searching for the right college, I was looking for a school where I would have the opportunity to get to know my professors. I definitely found that kind of connection at Furman.
3. You want to spend four years on one of the most beautiful campuses in America. Don’t just take my word for it. Furman is listed as one of “The 30 Most Beautiful College Campuses in the South,” one of “10 Uniquely Stunning College Campuses from Around the World,” and one of “41 Scenic College Campuses that Were Made for Instagram.” Furman’s 750 acre campus is breathtakingly beautiful and a truly amazing place to call home.
4. You want to live in a growing, vibrant, and welcoming city. Furman’s campus is only a ten minute drive from downtown Greenville, South Carolina. Greenville is a lot more than a college town. The Main Street of Greenville is home to over ninety locally owned restaurants and an endless supply of shopping opportunities. Businesses throughout the city offer countless opportunities for internships and there is never a shortage of things to do!
5. You’re up for a challenge. In my college search, I was looking for a school that would challenge me to be all that I could be. I wanted to be challenged in a classroom setting, as well as encouraged to be an active part of a diverse and dynamic community. At Furman, you will be asked to live up to your potential. You’ll have to learn to juggle your academic commitments with your commitments to student groups. You’ll have to seize opportunities for meaningful internships and seek out opportunities to participate in undergraduate research. Join some student groups and seek leadership positions. Because Furman has so much to offer, you will have to learn to juggle all of your new exciting responsibilities. These new time management skills will be invaluable as you move throughout your college years and beyond.
6. You want to forever join the Furman family. It is such an honor to be a part of the Paladin family. As a student, I was immersed in the Furman community. I found a home on Furman’s campus and established lifelong friendships. Now, as a graduate, I’m gaining an ever better sense of what it means to be a part of the Furman community. Whenever I meet a fellow Furman alumnus, I feel an instant connection. Common ground comes easily – regardless of our graduation year, we can compare memories of throwing a classmate in the lake on their birthday or the President’s Picnic during Orientation week. We share the same traditions and the same legacy – and that’s a pretty powerful thing. (To learn more about that trademark Furman experience, click here.)
7. You want to take advantage of once in a lifetime opportunities. Maybe you dream of publishing a paper based on your research with Mountain Lions in New Mexico. Perhaps you hope to present a paper on bioethics at a national conference. Your dream might be to land your dream internship at Goldman Sachs or The Kennedy Center. Or, you might hope to study abroad in the British Isles, intern with the Scottish Parliament, or embark on a May Experience to Fiji, Iceland, or the Galápagos Islands. All of these opportunities and more will be available to you as a Furman student. Seize the moment and enjoy a once in a lifetime chance!
8. You’ve visited campus and envisioned yourself as a member of the Paladin family. You can learn a lot about a college from websites and brochures, but the best way to gain clarity in your college search is to take a trip to campus! We would love for you to be our guest. Come for a tour, meet with a professor, have lunch with a current student, and stay overnight with one of our student hosts. We hope that you will feel immediately at home in our community and start to envision yourself wearing Paladin purple for the next four years!
Elizabeth Hawthorne ’14