Large campus, friendly population gives off positive vibe
With one college visit under my belt, I considered myself a professional at touring institutions. I went into my time at Auburn University with confidence, thinking that I would know everything that was to happen. My assumptions could not be any more wrong.
It was pure ignorance to think that my visit to Auburn, a school with over 28,000 students, would be the same as my visit to Westmont, a school with nearly 1,300 students in So. Cal.
I arrived in the small town of Auburn, Alabama, with my mother, sister, and brother-in-law on a Sunday. My sister and her husband were stationed in Fort Benning, Georgia, just an hour outside of Auburn, for about two years so they knew the area very well. The two showed us around the quaint little town within walking distance of the school. The style of streets and buildings was very similar to that of Old Town Clovis.
On Monday, my scheduled visit to the college kicked off at 8:30 a.m. Unlike my private tour of the Westmont campus, this one was in a group of about 15-20 kids. I did not feel any less important, however. The tour guide was lively and cracked jokes often. She told us legends of the Auburn campus and gave us tons of information on all of the buildings around.
At one point on the tour, our group was taken up onto the roof of one of the campus’ tallest buildings. This was a super cool part of the tour because you could see the entire campus from one spot. While walking around throughout parts of the school, it seemed huge, but from up high the property seems much more manageable to navigate.
After our time on the roof, we headed back down to ground level and headed back to the Quad to close out our tour. We were then given the opportunity to tour some of the dorms if we wish. The favorite dorm that I toured was called South Donaghue.
The South Donaghue dorms were by far the most luxurious on campus. On the bottom floor, an arcade room was made available to all residents. Each room came with your own queen size bed, private bathroom and a common living area that you share with one other student. The living area comes equipped with a sink, freezer and refrigerator, granite counter tops, a washer and dryer unit, a couch, and a 42-inch flat screen TV. To make this dorm even better, when you look out the window, your room overlooks the Auburn baseball diamond. You can watch games from your couch.
Another highlight of the campus was their recreational center. On the main floor, students have access to all types of workout equipment from free weights to machines. There was also six indoor basketball courts open to use at any time. On the second floor was a winding track that changes in elevation as you run that measures out to be a third of a mile long.
Personally, my favorite part of the whole rec center was the pool. They had a hot tub in the shape of an Auburn Tiger’s paw that seats 42 people. Next to the hot tub was a pool that had a tanning area, equipped with several lounge chairs sitting in water. There was also basketball hoops at each end of the pool as well as a rock wall that ascended over the water. As climbers fall off the wall, they safely crash into the water.
Overall, the rec center blew me away. I could not imagine why a college student would need so many cool things but I did not really care. I was just amazed.
Atmosphere is one of the biggest things that I have been paying attention to while making my college decision. A college could have the best facilities and dorms around but if everyone there seems miserable, why would I attend school there? I can describe the atmosphere at Auburn in two words: southern hospitality.
Southern hospitality does not seem like it would be a real thing growing up on the west coast. It is something that is said in the movies but never actually taken seriously. Well, I can tell you that in the south, it is taken seriously. Numerous times throughout my visit, random people, complete strangers, would come up to me and greet me. They would take the time to ask me my name and what I was doing on campus. Everyone seemed so happy and easy going. Everyone wanted to be your friend.
One instance stood out to me the most. An old man came up to me and my mother as we were attempting to navigate the campus map. He asked us if we were Christians and we said “yes.” He went on to tell us that he was a retired professor at the college and that he wanted me to be prepared for what was ahead. He noted that while Auburn is a great college, it is secular and that if I chose to attend school there, I would need to be ready to defend my faith. He gave me a piece of paper with links on it to videos that instruct prospective students on how to defend their faith.
From top to bottom, Auburn seemed to be the perfect college. It had a large student population, renovated facilities, beautiful architecture, and genuine people all around. While I continue to think about my decision and explore other opportunities, my time in Alabama will not be forgotten.
Next week I visit California Baptist University, March 27. Check back to The Feather for my article commenting on my thoughts after visiting that college. Shortly after I will make my choice on where to attend college next.
To read my article about the Westmont College visit, check out: Westmont provides peaceful, introverted atmosphere.@thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.
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