Haliey Morgan and friends pose for the camera

Advice for College Freshmen: Be Still and Know

Hailey MorganNews, Student Life

When I was in high school, I was the student who wanted to speed-run life. With a love of all things academic, getting through my courses, both at the high school and dual-enrollment level, was no issue. As a result, I graduated from high school with an associate’s degree in communication.

Having successfully completed all that I strove to achieve in high school, I was fully prepared to fly through the next step on my journey to the real world. And so, when I was first accepted into the University of Mobile, I never imaged the change I would undergo.

As a freshman, I was set to be at UM for two years and a semester. That final semester was added onto my schedule due to my Honors requirements, and I knew that I did not want to graduate before they were all completed. With this plan in place, however, I began to do what I always did; create a fast-track strategy to graduation.

Plan as I might, the Lord had greater plans for my life, and He made sure that they began right at the beginning of my freshman year. Before I even had the chance to blink, I found myself chatting with a girl in my Ram Rush group as we walked together toward Ram Hall. Neither of us knew it then, but the two of us would go on to become the absolute best of friends.

While this interaction may seem entirely normal, for me, it had been a long time since I had taken it easy and talked with someone outside of school. For years, I had been so focused on the next big thing, that I had neglected to enjoy the present. Once I arrived at the University of Mobile, however, all that changed.

After meeting the person who would grow to become my forever-friend, Ram Rush made sure that all of us freshmen were able to interact with one another as we navigated our first week of college. Even after Ram Rush was over, our Freshman Seminar classes (now known as UM 101) continued to bolster community, while also instructing us on the ins-and-outs of college life.

As I continued to branch out and meet more people, I was amazed by how welcoming everybody was. From the faculty and staff to the upperclassmen, it seemed there was simply no shortage of good people! And, in my attempt to meet as many of them as possible, I had the opportunity to work in so many different departments. From interning in the Marketing Office as a freshman to becoming both a Peer Leader and a tutor, I was able to connect with even more people as I continued to dive deeper into the community that the University of Mobile fosters.

And yet, before I knew it, I was graduating. For the first time in my life, the grand finale had snuck up on me. And, for the first time in my life, I found myself wishing that I could stay in one place just a little longer.

I thank the Lord each and every day for guiding me to the University of Mobile and, through my experiences here, teaching me how to be at peace in the present instead of fretting over the future. I am grateful for the amazing faculty and staff members who provided me with so many incredible opportunities, and who fostered connections that will last for many years to come.

Most importantly, I am thankful for all of the wonderful people I now call my friends. The Lord placed so many incredible people in my life. I truly believe that, had I gone elsewhere for college, I would not have grown as much as I have at the University of Mobile.