Meet Rachel Cox!

Hello!

My name is Rachel Cox and I am a rising junior at Transy!

Cox.MeetRachelCox.Photo1I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah but I grew up in Northern Kentucky and attended Simon Kenton High School. I have a younger sister and my family lives on a horse farm in Crittenden, KY. I love all kinds of music and I love to travel. Some of my hobbies outside of Transy include riding horses, snow skiing and boating.

Here at Transy, I am a biology major and a chemistry and psychology minor. My post graduate plans consists of attending medical school and becoming a doctor for one of the branches of the military.

I am involved in many activities on and off campus. I am a member of the Transylvania Women’s Basketball Team. We are currently ranked in the top 25 teams in the nation and I am a huge advocate for NCAA Division III athletics. Transy is a great place to be a student athlete. We recently traveled to Los Angeles, California and we played games at Pomona College and Claremont College.

I am also a member of Chi Omega. I had not planned on joining a sorority prior to coming to Transy but I have never looked back once I decided to join. I found a home in Chi Omega and my sisters are the best support system that I could ask for. I also believe that Transy has one of the best Greek communities in terms of all of the chapters being very inclusive. I have many friends in many other sororities, fraternities, as well as many unaffiliated friends.

Other groups on campus that I am a part of include Habitat for Humanity, which is a community service group, and the PROs team, a group of current students who help with recruitment of potential students. I am also a Keeneland Ambassador and a volunteer at the Kentucky Horse Park.

My First Hello

Hi everyone! My name is Catherine Clark and I am a rising junior Business Administration major and French minor here at Transy. I’m so excited to get to blog on Write On Broadway and share all the amazing experiences I’ve had at Transylvania!

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I’m from Owensboro, KY in western Kentucky (even though my friends from the very west of Kentucky tell me Owensboro doesn’t quite qualify as western) and a 2014 graduate of Owensboro High School. For me, Lexington is the perfect distance and size upgrade from Owensboro (home of the greatest BBQ in the country).

Everyone told me I would have to slow down when it came to extracurricular activities in college. In my first year, I believed them. I was only casually involved in about four activities. Thankfully, this year I’ve found the organizations and activities I truly care about and love to be involved in. First, I am an Admissions Ambassador and tour guide for the Office of Admissions, a member and philanthropy chair for Chi Omega, a participant in the Pioneer Leadership Certificate Program, and a senator and Public Relations chair for the Student Government Association (TUSGA). These are just the main organizations I have to opportunity to be involved with but with the huge web of community and connections at Transy, I’m involved in many other organizations as well!

I feel very fortunate to be a student at Transylvania University because I really feel this institution is the best fit for me. I love seeing a friendly and familiar face almost everywhere I turn! It is my hope that as an Admissions Ambassador and a blogger, that I can help perspective students find their fit too. Whether it ends up being Transy or not, I hope that the Admissions process at Transy aids and informs students to help them make the best decision. Good luck and never be afraid to ask questions!

The First of Many

By Jordan Long

Why hello there! My name is Jordan Long and I am a rising here at Transylvania University. I am pursuing a degree in Writing, Rhetoric, and Communications along with a minor in Religion, basically I live in Haupt Humanities. I cannot wait to embark on this blogging journey, but first let me tell you a little bit about myself.

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I am from a small town in Western Kentucky called Benton, which is about four hours from my residency in Lexington! Benton is known for the cultural event of Big Singing and a festival known as Tater Day. Although I do get homesick occasionally, my involvement in the Transy community always keeps me distracted!

Just like every other student at Transy, I am involved in everything I possibly can make time for. I am an Admissions Ambassador along with serving on the Executive Council of my sorority, Chi Omega. I participate in two volunteer organizations, Students Against Hunger and Homelessness and Habitat for Humanity, where we volunteer in the Lexington community by helping build houses and providing sandwiches for the Hope Center. I am also a member of the national honorary Alpha Lambda Delta, the religious organization Cru, the student led spirit organization The Crimson Crazies, and a mentee in the 100 Doors to Success program.

Off campus you can find me hanging out at Keeneland as a College Ambassador, where I get to promote Keeneland and all of the amazing scholarship opportunities it offers! I work in a shop at the Lexington Civic Center, which is just a short walk from Transy in the middle of downtown. You can always find me eating Qdoba queso or binge-watching any Shonda Rhimes show on Netflix. A fun fact about me is that I love to travel; I’ve been to over 8 different countries and to Disney World more than 30 times!

I’m excited to share Transylvania with you all as they happen in my crazy, wonderful college experience! You can keep up with me on Twitter @JoLong22 or Instagram @jordanbl!

Here’s to the next year!

How to Prepare for a College Class

emilymartin

You know by now that college is going to be a major step up from high school. Maybe you’ve already sat in on a college class!

But besides it being generally more challenging, what are the real differences between a high school and college class?

I’m glad you asked!

The main difference I’ve noticed is the amount of preparation you’re expected to do before each class meeting. Before I came to college, when we were assigned to read the next chapter of a textbook, no one usually did because we knew we’d be covering that material the next day in class, so it wasn’t really necessary.

In college, it really is necessary. While you’ll cover the material in the textbook or novel you’re working with in class, your professor is not going to go over a summary of the reading. They plan the class assuming that you’ve already read it, so they can skip the basic summary. So always always always do your assigned reading!

I’ve also appreciated that classes here are much more discussion-based than my classes were in middle school or high school. You’re expected to have something to contribute to the conversation.

But how do you do that?

On the first day of class, the professor who I’d ask to be my academic advisor by the end of the semester, Dr. Scott Whiddon told us to always come to class with one good question and one good comment. Years later, and I still work off of that advice as I prepare for class every day. I look for something in the reading I have a question about — whether it’s more of an open-ended question to get a conversation going, or something I am confused on that I want the professor to clarify. I also look for something I particularly liked or didn’t like in the reading. Maybe there was a quote I thought made a great point, or there was an argument I didn’t agree with. Those are the kinds of things you want to bring in with you to class. It’s what your professor’s expecting — so they’ll appreciate when you’re ready to contribute right at the beginning of class.

And since I’ve been talking about reading, here’s another tip. Don’t be afraid to write in your books! Even if you’re renting a textbook from the bookstore or Amazon, you’re allowed to highlight and make notes. Or buy a lot of Post-Its and write your notes that way. You don’t want to forget that piece of the reading you wanted to talk about. Plus, these notes will make studying and paper-writing feel much less stressful.

Yes, college classes will be harder. But do your homework, listen to your professors, and come in ready to contribute, and you’ll be off to a great start!

Leaning into the Discomfort

Lesley Goodaker

For most people, coming to college is extremely intimidating. Everywhere you turn, it seems like it’s new people, new places, new classes—new everything! This was especially true for me my freshman year. Move-in day was only the second time I had been to Transylvania, let alone, Lexington. Add to that the fear of being three and a half hours from home and the pressure of knowing only one other person on campus, this self-proclaimed introvert continuously found herself on the edge of discomfort. So, suffice to say, I know a thing or two about stepping outside of your comfort zone—and my advice? Embrace it!

  • Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself first. Sometimes, Transy’s smaller size can be intimidating. Take the initiative to get to know your peers (especially during August term)! I know it can be nerve-wracking, but if you push yourself just a little and do something as small as saying hi to someone you met in the greet line, people will remember you.
  • Be yourself! A lot of people get stuck on the mindset that they have to act a certain way to make new friends in college; however, that’s simply not the case. Don’t be afraid of what others might think of you. Embrace the qualities, likes, dislikes, and hobbies that make you who you are. Chances are, you’ll find someone who feels the same!
  • Join organizations similar to (or completely different from) the ones you were a member of in high school! College campuses can be overwhelming with so many new faces; however, Transy’s intimate setting lends itself well to building relationships fast. By joining a club on campus, you’ll be able to hone in on smaller groups of people with similar interests as you that you can really get to know.
  • You’re not alone! Homesickness is an inevitable part of transition to college for many students. Luckily, at Transy, you’re not alone. During August term, you’ll meet Resident Advisors, August Term Scholars, faculty/staff, and other students who are willing to lend a helping hand when homesickness starts to set in. Before long, you’ll be having so much fun playing sand volleyball, reading your favorite book under  nice shade tree, or hanging out with your hallmates, that missing home will be a thing of the past.

Whether it’s introducing yourself to a classmate, trying your hand a sand volleyball, or getting a group together to head downtown for a scoop of ice cream, always remember to lean into the discomfort. I promise, the benefits you’ll reap from these interactions far outweigh the millisecond of uncertainty or anxiety you might feel.

Campus Spotlight: An Inside Look at Campus Counseling

Lesley Goodaker

It’s no secret, college is a huge transitory time in the lives of students. For some, the change is seemingly insurmountable. It can seem like the world is coming at you from all angles and you just can’t catch your breath. Between classes, co-curriculars, and getting settled into your new home, it can seem like you have no free time to just be. In this way, many students (from freshmen to seniors) find that they often neglect their mental health in favor of excelling in their studies; however, all too soon, many find that they soon neglect their studies too. While this sounds frightening, at Transylvania, there a myriad of systems in place to ensure the success of students both emotionally and academically, one of which is on-campus counseling services.

Typically, students seek counseling for a variety of reasons including long-standing problems that interfere with their day-to-day activities, preventing the onset of additional problems, and even as an opportunity for open dialogue. At Transylvania, students have access to one-on-one counseling which provides them with the opportunity to talk with a counselor about anything and everything in a judgment-free environment. Transy’s counseling center services are kept 100% confidential and are never a part of a student’s academic record. Sessions with the center are up to the students’ discretion and may occur weekly, bimonthly, or as otherwise arranged. Other services provided by the counseling center include couples’ counseling and referrals to other mental health services in the area–all at no cost to you!

Whether you’re a first-year or seasoned senior, counseling services can provide the help you need to tackle the personal, professional, and academic issues plaguing your mind. As with any other campus personnel, Transy’s counselors are just a phone call away and more than willing to help in any ways they can. So, next time you’re on campus, stop by our counseling center (located in the rear of the Campus Center) and say hello!

My Road to Religion

emilymartin

Inspiration can come from anywhere. Think about what you’re planning to study in college, or what career you’d like to have when you’re older. What about that decision is appealing to you? From where — or whom — did that inspiration originate?

When I started college, I thought it’d be cool to take a religion class, to see how what I learned in class compared or complemented what I’d learned from a lifetime of Sunday School and church camp. Plus, my dad is a Disciples of Christ minister, which is the Christian denomination Transy is historically affiliated with, so that connection was how I heard about Transylvania in the first place. But I never saw it being a major feature of my academic experience.

But then, during my first year here, I was asked to serve as a student representative on the search committee tasked with hiring our first-ever Associate Dean for Religious Life. I got to meet with other students from different religious backgrounds, our two religion professors, our Interim Associate Dean for Religious Life, and a member of the Board of Trustees (both impressive alumni!).

I got to read every application and cover letter for the 100+ candidates. We were included in every meeting, narrowing them down to the several we did phone interviews with, and the five finalists we interviewed on campus.

By the end of that process, I knew I wanted to take classes with those two professors I’d worked with — Dr. Barnsley and Dr. Jones because I had gotten to know them a little bit, and wanted to learn more from them. And after I took my first class with each of them, I was hooked.

Plus, the person we ended up hiring for the Associate Dean position, Rev. Dr. Wilson Dickinson, quickly became one of my favorite staff members at Transylvania. He even wrote me recommendation letters for my graduate school applications!

I ended up declaring a religion minor at the end of my junior year — even with a major and another minor, I still had plenty of space in my schedule! I took classes on Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and a fascinating May term class with Wilson on Sustainability and Theology.

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One of my favorite days of my May term “Sustainability and Theology” class was our field trip to the Sisters of Loretto convent (about an hour away). It was a fun, relaxing day learning about how their community understands the connections between religion and the environment.

I look the Senior Seminar class in religion, too, and I used that opportunity to build off of the WRC senior seminar project I had completed the previous semester. That second research course was a great opportunity to expand an existing project and approach the same subject from a different perspective.

The religion classes I’ve taken have expanded my worldview and made me a better person. That’s not just because I think religion was an important subject for me to study, but because I was surrounded by people who were interested in the same subject, but for a variety of reasons.

I’m not saying everyone should have to take a religion class before they graduate — although at Transy, you totally should because the professors are fantastic and you’ll love it.

What I am saying is that you should be open to letting your life plan change as you change in college. Changing your mind is okay. When you feel inspiration — no matter where it’s coming from — you should follow it.