The Next Fours Years

Just over a year ago, I was a senior in high school pretending I knew how to pick a college. I was applying to colleges, planning visits and collecting college shirts from all the bookstores. Every school I looked at advertised their athletics, dining services, housing and more. Furman was different. Furman informed me about all those things too, but they kept pushing something called the “Furman Advantage”.

It felt like every email and every interaction involved the “Furman Advantage”. As a senior in high school I definitely did not understand it. It just sounded like a fancy title for the same college education with a couple of perks. Even after accepting and hearing even more about this so-called advantage, I couldn’t have told you what it was. Essentially, all I understood was there was a lot of money dedicated to giving students more opportunities in internships, research, study away and community-engagement. That didn’t mean much to me then. I did not see how this advantage was going to affect me. However, after being on campus for just a few weeks I can see some of the differences the Furman Advantage makes in my college experience.

To me, the Furman Advantage means possibility. The possibility to research, to have an internship, to study abroad and to grow through my four years at Furman in any way imaginable. It’s the chance to experience and explore aspects of the world that were once closed off to me because Furman has the resources and desire to help. To me it means that Furman not only says they want me to succeed, but does everything to ensure I have the opportunity to succeed. Also, as a freshman it’s easy to think the Furman Advantage is something that will affect me when I’m older. However, I’ve come to learn that is far from true. The first step in this advantage is having an academic advisor who is fully prepared to get to know you and to help you make the most of your four years. My advisor seeks to not just help me pick classes, but encourages me to step outside my comfort zone and find my individual path. While that’s just one aspect of the Advantage, knowing that it affects me now and not only when I’m older is the exciting part. The possibilities available because of the Furman Advantage mean more because I know that Furman values every student and the potential impact they can have on the world when invested in.

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