It seems like just yesterday that I was moving in and decorating my dorm! Time flies when you’re having fun (and when you’re busy)! This semester exceeded my expectations--I made lifelong friends, thoroughly enjoyed all of my classes, and I can’t wait for what the next semester has in store!
I found this past semester’s course load to be manageable and very interesting! My favorite class was American Sign Language. I had no prior ASL knowledge, but I went into this class with an open mind. Professor Toomey is incredibly passionate about teaching, and it was clear that she adores her job. I learned that I also have a passion for Deaf culture and enjoy signing! I anticipate taking subsequent ASL classes during my time at App to complement my Communication Sciences and Disorders major. I would recommend ASL to anyone, regardless of their major. Communicating with the Deaf is amazing and opens up a whole new world of opportunities.
My most challenging class this semester was Biology. I took extensive notes during our lectures and found myself making quizlets with over 150 terms to study for the exams. The amount of material covered in such a short time span was difficult to absorb, but I am proud of myself for being diligent about keeping up with the work. My Watauga Residential College class was another course that challenged me to think critically. I enjoyed these class discussions because we delved into topics that I wouldn’t have researched on my own. The course titled Food, Community, and Place covered subjects such as authenticity, eating disorders, the truths about where our food comes from, farming, and cannibalism. I found myself asking many questions and learning from my professor and peers.
College is an experience that is enriched by being involved in activities on campus. During my first semester at Appalachian, I dove right into many clubs, one of which was Hillel. Hillel was very welcoming, and I immediately felt at home when I attended services at The Temple of the High Country. It was a privilege to sing at Yom Kippur services and to help lead Shabbat services from time to time. I also joined the temple’s Ritual Committee that plans and discusses upcoming events with the Rabbi. Judaism is a very important aspect of my identity, and I am happy to have joined this community here.
College is also about being pushed out of your comfort zone. Greek life is something that I was very unfamiliar with, but I found myself in love with Sigma Kappa and their philanthropy. Sigma Kappa has five different philanthropies, but their largest and most widely known is the Alzheimer’s Foundation. My grandma suffered from Alzheimer’s for four years before it engulfed her mind and body altogether. It was difficult knowing that she was deteriorating each day, but as was said at our Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Hickory, North Carolina, “the disease is relentless, but so are we.” Each Sigma Kappa event reminds me that I am fighting for her and for millions of other people who can not fight for themselves. Our annual Elephant Gala raised over $10,000 for the foundation this year, and I am so thankful to be a part of this cause.
I can't imagine my college experience at any other school! Appalachian has made me feel so welcomed, and I have taken advantage of each and every opportunity thus far. I am excited to be reunited with my family and friends at home this summer, but I know that my second family resides here in Boone.
Written by: Sydney Stoter
For more information, please visit:
- Department of Communications Sciences and Disorders
- Watauga Residential College
- Hillel at Appalachian
- Sigma Kappa at Appalachian