On Getting Ready for College

Graduating from high school and moving on into the “real world” is a scary, exciting, and eye-opening time. During the first leap – choosing a college – you think that will be the hardest decision of your life.. and at the age of eighteen, it is. Then comes choosing a major, choosing classes, and the most daunting (for me at least) choosing roommates.

On Choosing a College: “So.. what made you choose Flagler?”… “Isn’t SCAD a better college for Graphic Design?”… “Why did you not choose UGA?”… “OH so you didn’t choose Young Harris.. Is that because you didn’t want to be known as Ashley’s sister or Steve and Connie’s daughter?” … Those are all questions I have received since declaring the Ancient City as my home for the next four years (okay yeah I kind of paraphrased with the last question… oops.) They are good questions and ones that I have actually asked myself a time or two.

So, what DID make me choose Flagler? Well, first and most obvious of all, it is a stunning campus not only because of it being a ten minute drive to the beach, but also because of the rich history and spectacular architecture – yes, I am that weirdo that will stop at every sign depicting the historical background of the building or statue and read it. Second of all, they have an incredible Graphic Design department with professors that seem to actually care about the students and helping us succeed. Lastly, the people I encountered on my visit at Flagler were, for the most part, kind and welcoming to me. The atmosphere of being in a place with college kids and tourists constantly buzzing around excites me to no end.

Now, is SCAD better for Graphic Design? Maybe.. maybe not. All I know is, you pretty much have to sell your soul to afford going there. If I’m honest, I kinda like my soul.. So that took SCAD out of the picture.

The question I was asked by my high school counselor – “I see you got accepted to UGA.. why aren’t you going there?”- was one I was not entirely sure of the answer to at first. I had plenty of reasons to choose UGA – it was relatively close to home, my best friend was going there, they had my major, the HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships would cover my tuition, etc. But the answer I came down to was this… It just wasn’t “me”. I don’t see myself fitting in at a huge university surrounded by sorority girls and frat bros… Not that sororities and fraternities are bad, they just aren’t my thing. I also wasn’t crazy about the fact that I would have to ride a bus to get to all my classes.. Mostly because I know I would get lost every day. UGA is a great institution.. just not for me.

With all that being said, the question I have struggled to find the answer to the most though was this, “Why not Young Harris?”.  For those that know my family, you will know that both my parents and my sister attended college in the Enchanted Valley… and for pretty much all my life, I thought I would too. I adore Young Harris and everything about it. The people there are helpful and welcoming, the campus is one you would imagine to be in movies, and the opportunities that await there are endless. So, did I choose not to go to YHC because of my parents and sister? Absolutely not. That is the furthest thing from the truth. I cannot express how immensely proud I am to say I am Steve and Connie’s daughter and Ashley Davenport’s little sister. They have all done incredible things up at YHC and have all left behind admirable legacies that I would be honored to be connected to. But unfortunately, Young Harris does not have my major and, if I’m being entirely honest, I didn’t know whether YHC would have the connections to help me get the job I want after I graduate.

On Choosing a Major: When it came to choosing a major, I was already pretty set on what I wanted before I even started applying to schools. Here’s the full story for anyone interested, although I am not sure why anyone really would be but here it goes- In my sophomore year of high school I was put in an interior design class. I asked for interior design mainly because I needed a class to fill the last slot in my schedule and I thought it would be a fun class. Interior design was one of my favorite classes of high school; I even thought I wanted to be an interior designer for a while.  When it came time to choose classes for junior year, I chose “Graphic Design” simply because I saw the word “design” and assumed it would be similar to interior design. About halfway through the semester, I realized I actually really loved graphic design and I was relatively decent at it so I started rethinking my future plans.. By the end of the semester I had completely made up my mind to major in Graphic Design in college. (Side note: Here’s a tip for any underclassmen choosing classes, choose at least one class each semester that you think you could be interesting or “fun”… Those are usually the best ones and you might even find something you love!) For those of you wondering what I want to do with a graphic design major; as of right now, I am hoping to work in the magazine world as a layout designer or a graphic designer. As with any “future plans”, that dream will change a million times by the time I graduate.

On Choosing Classes: The first time I looked at all the classes I had to take to graduate, I cried (I wish I was kidding). At first, everything looked so overwhelming and I was pretty much convinced I wouldn’t graduate on time. However, my mom gave me advice and calmed me down, and my awesome first year advisor, Kristine Horn, helped me and told me what classes I should take for my first semester. I won’t bore you with the details of choosing classes because it wasn’t all that glamorous… I now have a schedule full of classes I am actually excited about (okay, well maybe I’m not super excited for Statistics) and cannot wait to take on this fall.

On Choosing Roommates: Flagler gave us the wonderful option of requesting our roommates.. However, that came along with the task of actually finding strangers you’d want to live with for nine months. The first step of this process was joining a group message full of girls all looking for roommates. In our group message, we all sent in “bios” to basically say a little bit about us and what we were looking for in a roommate. I don’t remember what exactly I said in my “bio” but it was something along the lines of being outdoorsy, clean (for the most part), and wanting a roommate that wasn’t going to come home drunk at 2 AM. A little while after sending my bio, I received a message from a girl named Maddy. Over the next couple of days, we bonded over Ed Sheeran and theater and tons of other stuff… We found out that we were practically the same person when it comes to our interests. I never thought I would find a roommate I would connect with so quickly! After about a week or so we decided that if I chose Flagler (this was when I was still undecided) then we would be roommates. Madeline actually ended up finding us a third roommate, Hannah! All three of us are in a group message and we get along better than I ever expected… I am genuinely excited to be living with these two! Here’s my advice for finding a roommate: be completely yourself and know what you want in a roommate …you will end up finding incredible people.

I think the cover photo/mantra of our roomie group message sums it up the best:

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