Alumni Tips to Living Your Best Berea Life

This year, Berea students will return to the classroom, some on campus, and some via remote learning, under a genuinely unprecedented set of circumstances. Now, perhaps more than ever, Bereans can benefit from the experience and wisdom collectively held by the Berea alumni community. Read some encouraging words, study tips, or suggestions to help you live your best Berea life.

Want to share your best tips for today’s Berea students? Email Lisa Colletti-Jones to contribute to this page.

Kenneth Johnson ’09
“Remember that by being admitted to Berea College, you have already proven that you can succeed. Out of so many promising applicants, you are among those the College knows is most able to handle the academic, labor, and community commitments you will face. And everyone wants you to succeed. Keep that in mind when you are wondering whether to go to your professor with a question. Also, remember your Berea College alumni network. We have been where you are, and we are here for you now. Always remember you can ask us for help if you need it.”

Alex Trung Huynh ’12
“Equip yourself with data and analytics skills. Study a foreign language. Travel as much as you can (if possible, overseas trips). Treat college life like a full-time job and ALWAYS give it your best shot!”

Felicia Hopkins ’19
“Pace yourself! Don’t try to do every single thing that looks fun. Pick maybe one thing in your first term that you want to try until you get into the swing of things here.”

Sumit Ganguly ’77
“You are privileged to be at a superb liberal arts college. Make every effort to broaden your intellectual horizons by taking a range of classes well beyond on the confines of your major. Learn a foreign language, acquire basic mathematical literacy and hone your writing skills.”

Tedd Masiongale ’88
“Berea is family! Know that the diversity of alumni around the nation and internationally are rooting for you as you commence your collegiate career. Berea offers so many opportunities to explore interests and activities well beyond what may be offered in your hometown. Explore! Challenge yourself to try something new, attend a convocation that challenges your ideas, check out the art museum, go to a musical presentation, listen to the choir at Union Church and don’t miss Mountain Day!”

Katherine Silver Kelly ’91
“Get comfortable feeling uncomfortable — step into it and embrace it. Know that there will always be someone to encourage you, support you, and love you.”

Dwight Overstreet Jr. ’05
“The best 4 years of your life start now! “

Trey Collins ’19
“Berea is an interesting place, there’s no doubt about that. While the struggle is real, and you can’t wait to break free of the bubble, savor every moment you can while you’re there, because I guarantee even the stress will have been worth it all in the end. The people you meet will become your family, and the place a new home. Berea will always be my second home, and I hope you’ll see it that way too.”

Kelsey Rene
Reid Dowell ’15

“Emergency umbrella on you at all times.”

 Morgan Younge ’07
“It’s your responsibility to go to class!”

Donna Hagy England ’80
“Don’t Blink!!!”

Charlotte Watson ’15
“I challenge you to expand your thoughts and watch yourself grow.”

Tonya L. Combs ’96
“You can make it through freshman orientation!”

Tiffany Laurens
Peters ’02

“Take time to enjoy the woods!”

Shawn Anderson ’86
“Enjoy the ride! Make it special and you will be even more special! Berea is an unique opportunity few the get the chance to experience. Make the most of it!”

Barb Vanwinkle Mills ’80
“Take advantage of all that Berea has to offer! Go to class, study hard, but don’t forget to play hard as well! Make lasting friendships!”

Dianna Osborne
Brown ’86
“Have some fun along the way!!”

Doug Betzer ’02
“Welcome to the family. Grab hold of this experience and enjoy the ride.”

Jerry Lineberger ’72
“Be Curious. Be Diligent. Be Kind”

Christina Hamilton ’05
“Make the very best of this opportunity that you have been afforded, as there are so many that would love to be in shoes. Take advantage of everything the college has to offer and there is a lot! Definitely study abroad. Make an extra effort to learn about others from different regions and countries from you. Lastly, enjoy the experience! These 4 years will fly by! You’ll make memories and friendships that will last forever. Best of luck.”

Jo An Gaines ’57
“Let life be Imperfect!!! My ‘take away’ from Berea … celebrate Diversity… open your heart to people who look and believe ‘different’… Expect to change !!! You will evolve and leave Berea wiser … your World View will expand … cherish the people who nurtured you thus far …Honor your past … Savor your Berea Experience… Trust your future”

Brooke Leeth Jenkins ’05
“Go to class!”

Brandy Adkins ’03
“You’ve got this!”

Lucha Ramey ’92
“The friends you make at Berea will be the friends you have for life, no matter where life’s different roads may take you. You all began your adulthood journey together and because of that you’ll forever be connected … near or far! You’ll be there for each other’s weddings, the birth of your children, in sickness and in health, life changing moments, and even family deaths. My friends are my family!!! We may be in other states or even other countries, but we’ve never lost touch and are still together 30+ years later!”

Amy Sieweke ’00
“This will be the best time of your life! Enjoy every second of it!”

Cecelia McKinney ’56
“Enjoy ALL that is offered to you! Classes, labor experiences and organizations.”

Willie Sanders ’69
“Upon arriving at Berea College, get acquainted with everyone, every building and your labor position.”

Brittney Morris ’10
“The friends you make at Berea will be the friends you have for life, no matter where life’s different roads may take you. You all began your adulthood journey together and because of that you’ll forever be connected … near or far! You’ll be there for each other’s weddings, the birth of your children, in sickness and in health, life changing moments, and even family deaths. My friends are my family!!! We may be in other states or even other countries, but we’ve never lost touch and are still together 30+ years later!”

Julie Silver George ’95
“Go to class-everyday. Don’t skip class. Go. To. Class.”

Opa John ’78
“Someone did not get into Berea because you did. So, make the most of this exceptional opportunity. Look outside the box of your comfort zone and grow.”

Orlandus Brown Jr. ’07
“Don’t be afraid to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to you. Be willing to learn from others. Trust in God that you’ll get your degree.”

Victor Stone ’84
“When Mountain Day comes around, climb the mountain, play the games. Enjoy the day.”

Kathy Pyles ’76
“Learn something new each day. When a problem presents itself ask yourself  ‘What if…’ and come up with a workable solution. Learn from your mistakes. Take responsibility for your words and actions. Make new friends. Take care of yourself.”

Ron Robinson ’12
“Network! Get to know your professors, student aides, classmates, resource centers, and everyone you come across. This is coming from an introvert, this is the best time to develop those communication skills!”

Chelsea Schmitt ’11
“Travel abroad, do an internship and get involved on campus whether it be a club or sport. Work hard & stay focused! Graduating from Berea is worth more than you know!”

Joey Timmons ’11
“Whatever life throws at you, don’t give up on Berea and your education. Your days here are already limited, don’t limit your days here.”

Rose Melody ’98
“Be you!!! Stand firm, but open yourself up to experiences, challenges, and opportunities (travel, travel, travel)! Grow yourself beyond your comfort zone (S*T*R*E*T*C*H)…you’ll really surprise yourself!”

Jim Ramsay ’82
“Go abroad – have a major you love, but take courses outside of that to stretch you. Find a couple of organizations to connect to the community. Immerse – don’t waste precious time on computer games or obsessing on social media. And, please, do a semester abroad! Cultural competency is a critical skill in today’s world.”

Shaina Neal ’07
“Enjoy the bubble while you can. The real world is no fun. Don’t spend all your Berea bucks at once.”

Hillary
Howard-Fredrick ’15

“You get out of it what you put into it. Be open to new possibilities!”

Channell Barbour ’91
“Get involved and engage in activities with Student Life!”

Lydia Pope Clark ’13
“If you are feeling lonely, homesick, sad, or overwhelmed, take advantage of the free counseling available at health services. Pretty much everyone at Berea could benefit by going. You don’t need to be really sick or messed up. Anyone can go. And if you do that type of work early it could both put you on a better path in college, and save you a bunch of money long term. Counseling is expensive in the real world.”

Stephanie Kendrick-Hancock ’96
“Don’t take a moment of it for granted. Connect with people you might not have otherwise; join groups that expand your thinking outward from where you started.”

Sean Owsley ’11
“At times, it’s going to be a tough road. But, stick with it!! You’ll establish friendships that’ll last a lifetime. The payoff of graduating is greater than you’ll ever know. “

Leah Johnson Thompson ’04
“Success looks different for everyone. Don’t get caught in the trap of comparing your success, or even your failures, to others. Everyone walks a different path and everyone’s destination is not the same. Life is a journey, not a race. Enjoy your years in the Berea bubble and allow yourself time to grow and evolve. Travel. Make memories. Find your forever friends!”

Ricky Kirk ’98
“My only regret was not taking every opportunity to travel internationally. Go broad! Go far! Just go!”

Angela Hunt ’04
“Make friends with those that are different from you. Friends don’t have to agree on everything. A diverse group of friends will expand your view of the world.”

Dakota Caudill ’18
“Don’t beat yourself up if you get homesick. Acknowledge the emotion, be kind to yourself, and push forward. There are great memories to be had, if you let yourself experience them.”

Angel L. Todd ’04
“Find ‘your people!!!!’ And by people I mean those folks that are going to love you, correct you and hold you accountable. The one’s that will dance the night away with you and also study with you till the sun comes up. These “people” will most likely be unexpected but maybe the most valuable contributor to your development and growth as a young adult. However never room with these people — everyone needs some space. Also, I would say travel as much as you can, within the USA and outside of the USA. Encourage your ‘people’ to go with you those experiences together will be some of the best. High school friends are cool but college friends are life long friends.”

Halima Mohidin ’79
“Your future begins here. Take advantage of learning not only from your classes but also from your peers. Go out of your way to befriend international students, you will learn so much from them. Learn from your labor assignments, it may not seem like it, but you are getting invaluable work skills. Stay on top of your coursework. And have fun.”

Chelsea Bentley ’15
“Stay plugged in! I know it’s tempting to run home every weekend if you live close, but participate in CAB events (is it even still called CAB?), watch the movies, hang out with your friends. The more you invest in Berea the more impactful this time will be for you!”

Jessica Blankenship ’02
“Learn to manage your money. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Learn more about your advisor/professors as you never know when you might need them for a letter of recommendation or reference. Get out of the dorm and enjoy the nice days as much as you can!”

Joi Mahand ’04
“Enjoy the experience, the friendships, the lessons. Be open. Be ready. Also, use condoms—always.”

Carol Garrison ’69
“My husband and I just attended our 50-year reunion on campus last summer (class of 1969) and deeply revere our four years at Berea. The friends we made while there are lifetime friends so get to know your classmates. The same is true of faculty! Savor the total experience as you delve into your coursework!”

Anna Marie ’10
“Enjoy all of the crazy, chaotic, and especially the calm moments. This time will be what you make of it and you’ll never get it back. Take full advantage of everything Berea has to offer. The memories will last much longer than the 4 short years.”

Sally Azbill ’63
“The Berea years will be wonderful. There will be people there to help you with any problem. Do not hesitate to ask for help or advice. Participate and enjoy!”

Calvin Maddox ’05
“Live and take in everything that Berea has to offer. You never realize how much it will mean to you until it is over. Go to class…those grades won’t earn themselves. Go to sporting events…they like the show of Berea pride. Take in all of the different musical ensembles that the college has to offer. I found out that bluegrass is pretty amazing. Watch out for the squirrels. They move for no one. Lastly, find a group of friends who will be with you through thick and thin.”

Angela Edwards ’14
“Take advantage of seemingly insignificant opportunities, like volunteering in something outside of your major (YAY Habitat for Humanity). I did and I still look back on it being a wonderful experience. Make sure you know how to properly cite sources. And most of all, realize you are in a unique environment, and you are a student of Berea. Not everyone will get this opportunity. They chose you. Make it count. And uh binge on cookie dough at 3 am and sleep next to a vending machine cramming with your friends for biology. Make a midnight walk to Walmart and support the unique and creative businesses in that community. Get your butt out of bed and do the sunrise hike on Mountain Day. Eat kettle corn till you explode.”

Matthew Perkins Coppola ’98
“The hardest thing for me was not signing up for everything. After the first week, sampling all the activities you could ever hope for, pick ONE thing related to your major, ONE thing related to your spirit, ONE thing related to your body, and ONE thing you never tried before you came to campus. Even better if you find one thing that satisfies two. You have four years to try all the different things Berea College offers; set your study schedule so you can be there to the end (and don’t be afraid to change majors senior year like I did, lol).”

Melanie Baker Blair ’90
“The person standing next to you in line or sitting beside you in class is nicer than you think. Go ahead and talk to them! Don’t be shy! 🙂 I think I missed out on meeting a lot of sweet and interesting people.”

Sandy Sparks ’79
“These are among the most inspiring and most fun days of your life! Jump in!”

Neia Williams ’07
“Study Abroad! Take advantage of everything Berea has to offer! Cherish all of the new friendships you’ll form!”

Rachel Windley ’11
“Travel abroad! Take advantage of the opportunities that Berea encourages and experience the world. It will grow you so much. Really observe within the different responsibilities what you enjoy. Experience is the best teacher as far as career goes. Pursue internships and apply for positions on campus within areas you think you are interested in. One more — take at least one Intro to Business course — no matter what field you think you might go into. I wish I had SO many times after I graduated!”

Duncan Blount ’14
“Make an effort to meet new friends as early as possible! Friends keep you going when few other things can.”

April Mullins ’02
“Every piece of your Berea experience is preparing you for your future — Academics, Labor, and Convocations. Be an active participant in all! Strive for greatness! My time at Berea was hard but amazing! You can do it!”

Ada Shannon ’87
“Don’t let that first month send you home!! Dig in and stay focused…go ahead and start being grateful. The words “Berea College Graduate” carry clout for the rest of your life. You can do this!!”

Ashley Alvey ’16
“Take time to meet and make new friends! Take advantage of what all Berea has to offer such as the internship and careers office and study abroad! I studied abroad, and it was the highlight of my undergrad! Have an open mind and be ready for everything! Be prepared to work hard. It’s going to be challenging, but it’s going to pay off in the end! You’ll find that what you learn, comes handy in life. Enjoy your work assignments. Take the time to network and make connections. Most importantly, do not forget to take care of you. You need to have a balance between studying and a social life. Having free time is just as important as completing your work. LASTLY, enjoy it all, participate in mountain day, and have a great time!! I wish you all the best and I truly hope you enjoy your four years at Berea.”

Becky Williamson Holloway ’80
“Every experience is part of your education….even the bumps. Learn from them all. Take the time to meet lots of different people. Take all the extra classes you can. Enjoy your labor assignment. Keep a journal filled with stories of your experiences and those you meet…and lots of pictures!”

Kate Elsaharty ’11
“Go to convocations, plays, musical events, etc. It may feel like “just one more thing” you are required to do, but you absolutely will miss the opportunity to have such beautiful experiences after you graduate. Even if you are an introvert, participate in as much as possible that this beautiful Berea community has to offer! There’s something for everyone!”

Rhonda Gillespie Rule ’91
“Make connections, learn all that you can, make the most of opportunities, and cherish every single moment. These people will be your friends for life.”

Tiffany NiCoe
Halfacre ’10

“Enjoy those convocations. Looking back, I had incredible opportunities to see speakers and artists I wouldn’t have otherwise been exposed to. Love one another. Always and without exception.”

Brittany Sandlin ’12
” If you can’t handle the freedom of life on your own that first year, go home until you can! Enjoy, take advantage, and do ALL you can at Berea… it will change your life for the better!”

Randy Hays ’86
“Make the most of every opportunity – life is too short to live otherwise! Academics come first – get to know your professors! You will make friends that will be a part of the rest of your life – treasure every moment with them! Don’t treat your labor assignment as something you “have” to do – it too is an opportunity to grow and learn and connect with others! In everything you do, make good choices – and when you make a mistake, learn from it. You’ve got this.”

Jodi Donohue Santora ’09
“There are few places in the world as accepting, encouraging, and positively challenging as Berea. Its impact can improve your whole life from here on out. Don’t take that for granted. Make friends, have fun, and work hard!”

Ruth Rogers Hawkins ’72
“Best wishes for the BEREA Experience. Enjoy your time, strive to succeed, travel if possible, learn from your mistakes, accept challenges. You will be amazed how quickly the years will pass even though it may seem like forever when you are burning the midnight oil.”

Mona Bayyuk ’94
“Make the best of these 4 years. Bere College is a very special place. The friendships you make are genuine & lasting! Work hard & play hard! Take advantage of what’s offered & try to give back. Berea paved the way for me to a life long service to others. All the best!”

Tana Brown McCraw ’80
“Berea is a special opportunity few get the chance to experience. Make the most of the relationships you will make, go to your classes, enjoy Mountain Day, Homecoming, & dorm life. The work labor assignment is work experience that will start your career! Be kind”

Kesha Richardson ’95
“I did not realize how wonderful it was until the end. Enjoy your experience, learn about others and allow them to learn about you. Most importantly…don’t let registration make you crazy. God bless you and your efforts. Welcome to the best place ever.”

Bryant Fair ’97
“Embrace the Berea experience and the people. Your friendships and relationships with faculty and staff will be priceless for years to come.”

Ronald Dockery ’70
“Immerse yourself in the ‘Berea experience.’ Use your time at Berea to reach out to all of your classmates. Cement a few friendships — you will be surprised that most of those friendships will last a lifetime! ‘Mother Berea’ will now be a part of you for the rest of your life. Study hard but take time to enjoy all that Berea College has to offer. In our first orientation assembly we told to look to our right and then to look to our left. The Dean then stated, ‘…only one of you will make it to graduation!’ Let’s disprove that prediction and make sure you graduate.”

Jennifer Strong ’09
“The best four years lay ahead of you. Take time to love, grow, and learn. Lean on your professors and fellow students. Take every chance to experience new things. Study hard, work hard, play hard. Enjoy every day. Leave for class early so you can take time to really enjoy the campus so you don’t miss anything.”

Kristol Whitt ’16
“Friends are the KEY to thriving at Berea! Make a new friend every chance you get!”

Trey Collins ’19
“Berea College was the first educational institution where I felt at home. It was in large part due to the people I met and became friends with during classes, labor, and the limited extracurriculars I took part in. It’s a beautiful location with many beautiful souls. Own your experience, never give up, reach out for help when you need it, and make Berea a part of your story.”

Adara Scott ’19
“Make the most of your time at Berea. Make new, long-lasting friendships, study abroad, do internships, get funding for anything you can (especially if it’s something that’s important to you). Study hard, but don’t forget to take some “you time” to relax and make memories with your friends. Some of my best memories are from times with my friends, and study sessions with classmates. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. It’s okay to change majors, a lot of people do! (I did!) Enjoy your time at Berea. You’ll miss it when it’s over.”

Christian Gentzel ’19
“Be sure to keep an open line of communication with your professors. It not only helps you to better understand your course material, but you never know who will be willing to vouch for you when you look for a job!”

Lakshya Bharadwaj ’19
“Try extra hard not to lock yourself out of your room. Keep your ID on you at all times!”

Jackie Collier ’80
“This will be the fastest four years of your life. Live it to your fullest. There are lots of folk out there who will help you succeed, all you need to do is ask.”

Robert Tatum ’20
“Don’t be afraid to ask for anything.”

Robert Fox ’08
“Brace yourself because more greatness is coming your way!”

Jeff Doane ’00
“The world is yours; don’t let anyone change your view, but YOU.”

Brandi Lemon ’11
“What everyone else said but also get up at the ridiculous hour and go to Sunrise on Mountain Day. It’s worth it. Take a class just because it sounds fun. Join a club. Make a club. Just have fun.”

Chris Connelly ’04
“You’ll learn just as much from your classmates as your classes. Open minds never stop growing.”

Myrna Davis ’75
“Don’t procrastinate. As soon as those research papers are assigned get started on them. Then you won’t be stressing as their due date approaches (like yours truly did!).”

Jack Gill ’86
“Please understand that this is a gift, and despite the recent tobacco ban, this college, if it is anything like it was when I attended in the 80s, will open a world of insight, acceptance, opportunity, and sense of purpose. Live long and prosper!”

Jeffrey Carpenter ’87
“Please understand that this is a gift, and despite the recent tobacco ban, this college, if it is anything like it was when I attended in the 80s, will open a world of insight, acceptance, opportunity, and sense of purpose. Live long and prosper!”

Erica Cook ’13
“Take advantage of extra programs such as study abroad, internships, speech and debate, presenting your paper/research at a conference, volunteer. Go that extra mile and I promise you will reap those benefits far after you earn that degree. Don’t be afraid to live, to say yes, to venture into the unknown because there is no better way to find yourself.”

Brea Tessa Bailey ’14
“You can do this. You can do anything. You will be unstoppable after you receive a Berea College education.”

Chinwe Kpaduwa ’01
“Welcome! Study hard, play hard. Connect on a personal level with as many people as you can Berea is diverse! Study abroad and explore the world.”

Lisa Wilson Martin ’86
“Make chapel participation a priority. It will ground you in a sustainable way when things become difficult. That, and don’t spend all your money at Papaleno’s, but be sure to treat yourself occasionally to its gastronomic treasures!”

Iverson Warinner ’66
“Welcome to the experience of a lifetime. Berea College will offer you opportunities to be a lifelong learner; not only about yourself; but of a world that will need your intelligence, your spirituality, and your imagination.”

Kelly Korb ’13
“Find a mentor! Get to know someone who will hold you accountable and make sure you’re on track. Check-in periodically with your advisor! The privilege of Berea is that you get to know your professors and peers in your major: get to know them and learn from them!”

Megan Ruhl ’08
“No matter how hard it gets, keep believing in yourself and remember what an amazing opportunity your education is. You can conquer anything with the tools you receive from Berea College, just put in the work now, and everything will fall into place!”

Barbara Baker ’72
“Take time to savor the treasures of Hutchins Library, not just for class assignments but just a sweet meander through its stacks.”

Holly Korb Rabnott ’12
“PLEASE do not be afraid to ask for help! You will learn very quickly that Berea is full of wonderful professors and staff members who genuinely want to help you and make sure that you are successful. Also, get in the habit of trying to stay on top of your homework/papers and turning stuff in a few days to a week early. You CAN do it! (And not kill yourself by staying up all night! 🙂 ) College is stressful enough, don’t add to the stress by procrastinating. And HAVE FUN!! They say college is the best years of your life- it all goes by so fast, so soak it in and just have fun!”

Terri Fluker Gilman ’83
“Getting to attend Berea College is like winning the lottery! Take the bull by the horns and make this the BEST opportunity for your life. If you find yourself in a situation you don’t like, maybe your job or your dorm, change it! Sculpt your curriculum to your heart’s desires. Challenge yourself! Get involved socially (my Berea friendships are my treasured friendships)! This is your time to become the best of who you can be.”

Tonya L. Wright ’88
“Absorb every moment of your Berea experience, because these years will be among your most treasured memories in the future and will shape who you become as an adult. Welcome to the Berea family!”

Kayla Grayce ’11
“Find something you are passionate about and make friends who share in that passion! They will be with you for the rest of your life. Try something new and stick with it even if you’re terrible in the beginning! Learn about new cultures and make friends who seem completely different than you. Make healthy habits of studying and socializing and avoid unhealthy habits that keep you isolated. Adventure abroad and across the US when you can and bring your friends to make it even better! I’m so excited for you!”

June Tompkins ’72
“Take advantage of every opportunity to do or learn something different. No learning is ever wasted! Remember, these years will go by astonishingly fast!”

Cassandra Alexandria ’15
“Berea is a blessing! Take advantage of ALL Berea has to offer because it is an institution unlike any other! It will be tough academically but will prepare you for anything you plan to do in your future! Use ANY and ALL of the resources, attend luncheons & workshops, travel, take part in a club, choose a labor position you ENJOY (I worked at the CDL in the infant room), and find peace in the busyness of the Berea Bubble!”

Thomas Owens ’19
Remember that you’ll not always get every assigned thing, be it a reading assignment, or whatever, done when and as you might like to do it. Not that you shouldn’t do your work, but learn to prioritize, so if you’re still trying to finish that big paper for the next day, but you also have reading to do that won’t matter as much, then don’t feel you have to accomplish both. Do what you can and learn to be satisfied, you’re not a robot. I know when I was getting down to the last few months of my time at Berea, I had four classes, two of which required most of my time and effort. I got most of the things done for the other classes, but I knew I couldn’t give 100% to all four and I had to be okay with that. Also, if you have any mental health issues whatsoever (or any issues for that matter), talk to your professors. They’ll be a great help. Unless your major is a particularly difficult and time-consuming one, take classes outside of it that you’ll love and also some you’re not sure about, as both will be beneficial. Talk to the chaplains, they’re awesome people and always willing to listen. Take an English class with Jason Cohen and a Religion class with Duane Smith. You won’t be sorry. You have to go to convos, but try to go to the music, dance, and theater ones if you can. I’ve never been bored at those. Also, regarding convos, get them in early, just in case. Don’t believe all the horror stories you might hear about certain professors. I had heard bad things about a few professors I ended up having and they ended up being my favorites. If at all possible, take a woodworking class with Gary Mahoney. Berea is a bubble, so find time to get away from campus once in a while, even if it’s just to go to Wal-Mart with the Banana Run Club or to a movie in Richmond. If you’re a person of faith, go to God on the Quad and find a group that best fits you. It’ll help you to be grounded while you’re here. Professors are human too, and they don’t know everything, so don’t feel that just because they say something, that they’re right. Go hiking and enjoy the nature that’s around you. It’ll clear your mind of the stuffiness that being in buildings all day can cause. Explore the stacks in the library. There are lots of cool books there. Above all, sleep is your friend, so be sure to get plenty of it. Just don’t nap during convo. Berea certainly has its faults, and you won’t like everything you experience here, but find the good, enjoy every minute of it, and don’t waste your opportunity here. I wish you the best in your next 4 (ish) years here. If I made it, so can you. Good luck!”