#FreshmanYearWithGray

I graduated High School yesterday and now all of the sudden I have completed the first year of college? It’s crazy to think that thirty-five credit hours of class has been completed and I cannot even begin to understand the fact that all of the information I have learned will be with me for the rest of my life. So many changes have happened in one short year. Things that I never thought I would do happened this year and I still have three more years to experience the world before choosing my path in it. Who would have thought that I would ever play Quidditch? I’ve never read a Harry Potter book, I’ve never seen any part of any of the Harry Potter movies, yet, I have played a game inspired by the story line. Now, my friends and I are in the yearbook for it! Who would have thought? That’s not the only thing that happened, let’s go back to move-in day! (Don’t worry, I’m not going to go through every little detail, just the most memorable things that made a big impact on me!)

First Semester

August 15th – Move-in day! I am ready for an exciting new chapter of my life! I got to Campbell super early not knowing what to expect. My entire family was there helping me move in and I got to my room and was completely unpacked before my new roommate showed up. He was random and I had no idea what to expect. I met him and he seemed pretty chill. That afternoon I went to lunch with my family and told them I would see them later as I was in college now! I met up with a friend that I met at orientation and went to dinner with him and his roommate. At dinner, we ran into a couple of other guys and introduced ourselves, but nothing big came out of it, just a simple conversation at a really awkward point in time.

August 16th – Medallion Ceremony and Freshman Welcome Worship Service. I get up and head to breakfast for the great day ahead. Walking into Marshbanks, I didn’t know what to expect. That’s when I saw the two guys I had met at Marsh the night before. Sitting down with them, we quickly started discussing the simple college freshman conversation. “So… What’s your major?” My friend from Orientation and his roommate walked in right after that and the five of us soon became friends. After the Medallion Ceremony that afternoon, I went to dinner with my family and brought my Orientation buddy along with me. Boy was I embarrassed. My family was telling him all of these crazy stories from when I was younger, but little did I know, that just made us closer friends!

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August 17th – Camel 101. I sit down with my four other friends and another guy that lived across the hall from two of them. When I first sat down, I introduced myself and he became a part of our small group as well. It is 9:00am and who am I? I am that one guy super excited and ready for the day, unlike everyone else who is still tired. The first question in Camel 101 was, “When is the first football game?” I raised my hand and answered “September 3rd.” I only knew this because at the time I was working with the football team. Just for participating, I got a $50 gift card. Wow, it’s already been a good day. On top of that, there is a Campbell Athletics app that can be downloaded to earn free stuff through the athletics department. Somehow, I was also the first person to check-in on the app and won another $50 Amazon gift card. Participation, I quickly learned, is a great thing! After this, I learned how to juggle from Curtis Zimmerman. After Camel 101, we were all juggling for the rest of the week!

August 19th – HUMP DAY, First Day of Classes. August 19th rolls around and it is the first Hump Day in the Creek. Buies Creek, for its name sake, turns into a creek when it rains. Guess what? I had an early class on the first day of classes and it is pouring down rain. Yes I’m a Boy Scout, yes I am prepared, but wow, there were a lot of puddles! I was nervous for class, but I was also excited to see what was in store for me! I got through my classes and wow, I certainly was overwhelmed, but somehow, I didn’t stress too much.

The rest of Welcome Week – Activities. Welcome Week was officially started and there was so much going on. There were free t-shirts, free Sunni Skies Ice Cream, a street fair, Mud Volleyball, and a 5k with the new president. I met so many new people, and it was only the beginning of the year. God had so much in store for me, it was crazy.

As classes began, all of my friends became really busy, but somehow we still managed to eat together at least twice a week. We all knew each other was busy, but friendship is important, especially when you get to a new place where you are on your own.

The first football game rolled around and it was incredible. My friends and I stood in line to walk on the football field with the team. All of the class of 2019 was able to walk on the field and create a tunnel as the football team came out of the field house. An experience like no other. That was the first time that we made it on the Campbell Instagram page! (This was a big deal for me because I love social media!) Decked out in Orange, we went to the football game and cheered on our fighting camels for the first win of the season.

October 19-24 – Homecoming. Before I knew it, we were half way through the semester and it was homecoming week at Campbell! Most of that time, I was thinking, “What the heck is a homecoming?” I never had a football team, it was never a big thing at my high school. Evidentially, Homecoming is important, and not just that football game, but that whole week. That Wednesday was #CampbellTAGday. TAG stands for “Thank A Giver.” That day, I thanked lots of people and showed my appreciation for those that helped me get into Campbell University! Homecoming Week was also a week that I was introduced to another one of my great friends. Sadly, we didn’t really hang out as much until second semester. That Friday, There was a huge football game and so many people showed up! I got to meet many more friends and many of their families.

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November 10th – Christmas Tree Lighting. That’s it, We were coming close to exams and it was crazy to think how fast the first semester of college had gone. It was over just like that. My friends and I went to the Christmas Service just before the lighting. It was a beautiful service and to top it off, we got free t-shirts! 5..4..3..2..1.. The tree was lit and it stayed lit until exams were over. I personally bought an ornament that was hung on the tree for all of that time. The rest of the night we sang Christmas Carols, drank hot chocolate, and made memories.

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November 28th – Midnight Breakfast. It’s over, exams started the next day. I got in line at 7:15 and waited until the doors opened to get a free t-shirt and breakfast from Marshbanks to kick off exams right! I studied in line a little bit, but the best part of that night was playing Heads Up with friends and random acquaintances. The charades game kept us occupied for hours until we finally got our food and it helped us relax a little before exams the next day. Exams started, then ended, and first semester was over.

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All Wednesdays – HUMP DAY. Starting on the first day of class, I wore Orange EVERY WEDNESDAY! My first class wasn’t until noon every Wednesday, but I got up and got out of bed just to wear my orange. Wearing orange on Wednesdays meant that you could get free stuff from SGA. Eventually, It got so bad, I was getting ready and walking around outside until the SGA golf cart came around and saw me wearing orange. It was bad, but I got something every Wednesday, and still I continue to wear my orange and show my Campbell Pride.

First Semester was so weird. I had so much to do, but I had a lot of free time too! My friends and I decided to play Intramural Sand Volleyball. The good ole “Baldwin Bombers.” (I didn’t come up with the name.) Were we any good? Considering we won one game? I would say no, but we were also playing against a bunch of graduate students so, It wasn’t exactly completely fair. Practicing for Volleyball is how we got involved with Quidditch as I mentioned earlier. A simple volleyball practice turned into a hardcore game of Quidditch, that we won by the way!

Along with Volleyball, my friends and I went to Campus Worship every Sunday where we met new people and kept our faith strong. Along with that, we frequently visited Cook Out for a late night milk shake or Sunni Skies for a late night scoop of homemade Ice Cream. Either way, we were having a lot of fun!

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Oh yeah, and one other thing, I wore a Turkey hat on the class before Thanksgiving just to spread some joy! (That’s just who I am I guess…..)

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Second Semester

With all that happened first semester, who would think there is more?

Welcome Week #2 – I don’t remember exactly what the week was called, but there was a lot going on when we all first got back to good ole Buies Creek in January. Friends came together and this time there were even more of us. Specifically during this week I got closer with another great friend who was in my first semester CUFS class, however we didn’t talk much then! The beginning of classes and stress brought us all together to a movie night in D. Rich. We went to go see a movie that they were showing and we got there super early because we ate dinner and had nothing else to do. Sitting in the Auditorium, we just kind of talked and hung out until the CAB people came and told us that there wasn’t going to be a movie because someone had forgotten the DVD. At that time, everyone else left the building except for us. We started to jam out on the piano and hang out because we all knew that if we went back to our rooms, we would need to do work.

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Football – I’ve never been a football fan, but if I get to spend more time with my friends, I will be there! Football this year was one of the best things ever. All of us got together at the beginning of Pro-football season and began watching every Carolina Panthers game that came on. Especially during the regular season, it was always good fun as the Panthers just kept on winning! Screaming, yelling, and cheering, “RUN, RUN, RUN, TOUCHDOOOOOWWWWNNNN” Go Panthers! Why did I get excited about football? The football game itself didn’t mean anything to me, but the time I got to spend with my friends made all of the difference.

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February 1-6 – Founder’s Week. A Scottish Heritage brought great joy across the Campbell University Campus. Starting the week off with just a few celebrations, Founder’s week was a big thing. That Wednesday was #CampbellDay where everyone was to share why they were #CampbellProud. Many people did this and we raised a lot of money for the university. The Campbell Family really came together. That Friday, the week ended with the #CUHighlandGames. What was I doing participating in Highland Games? Who knows but I do know that I got my favorite picture with Gaylord for the year and I got to shoot a bow and arrow which was fun to do since I hadn’t done it in a while I and hit just above the target!

Second Semester created some challenges for us. Even though we still got together and hung out some, after the Superbowl, we were all really focused on our studies. We never really ate together anymore and it was difficult to see each other on campus because our schedules were all crazy. This is when I made even more friends! Second Semester I really branched out and met a lot of new people. This may have been, but I still missed my guys! That’s when Volleyball came in!

Volleyball Round 2 – Indoor. So, the team got back together again, except this time, we were bigger and better! We had to have girls on our team so we recruited a couple of my friends from “Ignite,” A campus ministry small group, to play on our team! Well, we didn’t come out with an amazing record, but we won four or five games throughout the indoor season. This was awesome because, for me anyway, this was the only time I got to see any of the guys second semester. “Victorious Secret,” our team (Again, I didn’t pick the name) was a force to be reckoned with and we definitely played our hearts out!

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Bowling – This Semester, my sister wanted me to take a class with her. Somehow, I ended up taking Bowling as a P.E. class. What an awesome choice it was! This was one of the best stress reliever classes ever! I was able to go bowling for free for 2 hours every week! On top of all of this, I hit a top score of 179 which was twenty points higher than what my sister’s was, which means….. I’m the best bowler. (Just Saying!)

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March 24th, 2016 – Marathon. I am not a marathon runner at all, but this year, my RC ran the Boston Marathon. To get ready he did a fund raiser where he raced the entire Kitchin Hall in a full marathon race. Each person in the dorm that ran, ran one mile (5 laps around academic circle) and carter ran 26.2 miles to reach a full marathon (131 laps around Academic Circle)! I’ve never been a runner, and I have never felt so close to death as I did that day, but I ran a mile in under nine minutes which is incredibly fast for me as I normally take 12 to complete a mile. It may be a small accomplishment, but I never would have been able to do it if it wasn’t for my RC and the hype that my dorm put around this run.

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Dance Party – Throwback Time Machine. “What is that loud music in Academic Circle?” Throwback Time Machine, a DJ group, came to Campbell and threw a big dance party in the middle of campus. Was I planning on going? No. Did I? Of course! None of my volleyball teammates stayed after our win that night, but wow, it was a lot of fun! I learned some Zumba moves and I got to hang out with some friends in my department which I never would have been able to do if I hadn’t gone.

Presidential Installation – It’s a very rare occurrence for a new President to be installed at Campbell University. Within the 129 years of the school’s existence, there has been only five presidents. I was lucky enough to be a part of the amazing ceremony that took place and the tunnel of students that our fifth president came through after the ceremony. That afternoon was full of fancy food and fancy couches in the middle of campus. A rare experience that few get to take part in!

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Department Cookout – It’s the end of the semester and the Communication Department has a cookout. I was able to hang out with my classmates and my professors and have a lot of fun. Who would have thought that a bunch of college students would get together, eat a hamburger, and play Duck-Duck-Goose? How old are we? It doesn’t matter. We were talking and it was brought up that someone could beat me in Duck-Duck-Goose. Well, of course that challenge had to be settled, so we ended up playing and it was one of the best stress relievers of all time. Another great memory to add to my Freshman Year.

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Academic Awards – A Honor Roll was definitely a thing before college, but not in college, for me anyway because some of these classes really kicked my butt, however, I was invited to an Academic and Leadership Awards Banquet. This year I was honored with the “Camel Pride Award.” All of my spirit in my school truly paid off. I wasn’t expecting it to be such a big deal, but this award was given to one specific person out of the entire school and I was awarded with it. I never would have thought that I would receive this big of an honor my freshman year, but it is definitely something to be proud of!

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Accepted Students Day – Towards the end of the semester, I was able to be a group leader for #Team6 during Accepted Students Day for the incoming Campbell Class of 2020. What an amazing day it was. I was able to spend the day with one of my best friends doing one of my favorite things in the world, leading a group of people. My group packaged 300+ bags with goodies to be given to the faculty around campus as a thank you for all of the work they do as a part of “Operation INASMUCH” which is a day of service that Campbell does every year. To top off that amazing day, my group won the “On-Land Synchronized Swimming” contest by doing a great routine to “The Circle of Life” from the Lion King. What better way to end the semester than help bring in the next group of students?

Friendship – As the year comes to a close and I look back to reflect, I would never have been able to do any of this without my friends and Family. I love all of you more than you can ever imagine. I love you and I want to thank you for all that each of you have done for me.

Overall – Within all of this, there was a lot more that happened. Campus Ministry, Basketball games, Chick-Fil-A breakfast, stress overloads, and many daytime naps, not to mention the countless hours of Netflix in between, but it is all too much to go through. I’m thankful for my friends, my family, my professors, my school, and God for showing me the path to follow! Go Camels!

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My Freshman Year has been amazing and I cannot wait to see what happens in the next three short years I am in the Creek! #Campbell19 #CampbellProud

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