Welcome Home: 19 Things App Students Need To Know

Welcome Home: 19 Things App Students Need To Know

Really, just some wisdom from a not-so-wise junior.

To all the incoming freshman at App State (and transfer students):

Welcome home. Living in a new place can be terrifying, and a new experience, especially a big one like college, can be overwhelming. But I want you to know that you're home. It might not seem like it yet, but over the next four years this place will stop being a huge college campus and turn into a homey place of friends and family. When I moved here two years ago, I had no idea how much of an impact App State and the Boone community would have in my life. Now, entering my junior year, I’ve come to realize that I may never be able to leave. I hope the same happens for you. As a welcome present, here are some things I’ve learned that you need to know about App State and Boone.

1. Think local.

Boone is a very local-focused community. And living here means you’re going to be influenced by that. Get out and explore, don’t just stay on campus. The Greenway, the farmers market, the shops on King Street—this place is your home now. Even if you’re living on campus, you’re still part of the Boone community, and it’s a real gem. Don’t miss it.

2. Invest in a pair of Chacos and Birkenstocks.

If you don’t own a pair already, you must have lied on your application because I don’t know how you got in to App without them. Chaco tan lines are a sign of your Boone residency.

3. Also, buy an Eno.

Eno’s are the best way to relax on App’s campus. I know, I know, they’re not super cheap, but they’re worth every cent.

4. The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most beautiful places on this Earth.

If you do not explore it every chance you get, I don’t know what’s wrong with you.

5. It’s Espresso News, never ENews.

It’s located on Howards Street and has the best coffee in town. Their iced dirty chai is phenomenal and one of my favorite study break pick-me-ups. They serve one soup every day and a variety of scones and muffins and cookies, but there’s no real system to their menu. I have yet to try something I haven’t liked, even if it has sounded very odd—and most of it does.

6. Don’t bother shaving.

No one else does.

7. Get fruity.

Cascades has good smoothies, but if you want more flavor and whipped cream, go to Crossroads (student union) or the Wired Scholar (library).

8. SafeRide isn’t that safe.

I was once packed into a 12 passenger van with 15 people. Two people were riding in the floor. But if you need to get across campus late at night, it’s a handy service. Just be prepared to wait. I usually just called my mom or a friend while I walked across campus alone after midnight. And all the times I did do that, I never once felt unsafe. Campus is well lit and patrolled by the campus police at night, but as long as you’re smart, there’s no need to worry about taking the walk if you don’t want to wait for a crammed van.

9. Anne Belk is a maze.

Give yourself an extra 15 minutes to find your classroom if you’re in Belk. It’s not just you; the room numbers really don’t make any logical sense.

10. It’s Central, not Roess.

Never call it Roess. No one (including the people who work there) will know what you’re talking about.

11. Sanford is the setting for a horror movie.

Don’t use the elevator because it might (as in, almost definitely will) trap you. There are no vending machines, and the water fountains are hidden, so bring your own food and beverage. Also, bring both a parka and a personal fan. The building does not have A/C, so it can be sweltering, especially in the winter months, when the heat is set 10 degrees too high. However, some rooms have A/C window units and rotating fans, which is nice…until it’s snowing and the heat still hasn’t been turned on and those window units are still turned to full blast. Hello, icicle fingers.

12. East Hall is haunted.

Don’t worry, the ghost(s) aren’t malicious. Yet. As long as you don’t mind slamming doors and randomly knocked over/rearranged objects, you’ll be fine.

13. Macado’s cinnamon rolls will change your life.

They sell them individually wrapped or you can sit down and eat one fresh. The first time I tried a Cinnamon Sensation (a fresh, hot, melt-in-your-mouth cinnamon roll with a heaping serving of vanilla ice cream), I cried tears of joy. No joke.

14. Slacklining happens every sunny day on Sanford Mall.

They make it look incredibly easy. It isn’t. And it’s dangerous. Be careful. I’ve watched many a poor soul land with a very tight rope in a very inconvenient spot.

15. Keep your door open

Make friends on your hall. Don’t go home every weekend. Weekends, especially freshman year, are a great opportunity to spend free time making memories and new friends. After freshman year, it will get more and more difficult to find free time as your classes get harder, and you’ll start taking on more responsibilities (maybe) like a job. Make connections, because these are people you’re going to be spending the next four years with.

16. Know your professors’ skip policies and use those skips wisely.

Don’t waste them. Those things are precious.

17. Appalachian Cooke Company is a wonderful resource for deliciousness.

They’re open until 3 am and deliver on campus. There is an eight dollar minimum for deliveries, but the heavenly goodness is worth it, trust me. They even have a Ron Swanson flavored cookie. What more could you want?

18. Get plugged in.

Find a club, organization, church home. Sometimes, you may not click with the people on your floor and that’s okay. But you will always need a church home, no matter how well you get along with the people you’re living with. I’ve found my home with Alliance Bible Fellowship and their college ministry, College Connection. This is my shameless plug, but they’re the best. We’re weird and slightly crazy, but genuine, welcoming, funny people who love God and others so well. We meet Sunday nights at seven at Alliance, which is a church about sevenish minutes from campus. Rides from the traffic circle at Trivette happen starting at 6:45. And we’re not the only campus ministry. Try them all. Find what works for you, find where you fit. Just find something, make connections and keep yourself strong in the Lord. A healthy relationship with him makes everything crazy in your life so much easier to handle.

19. Stay up late, have fun, make friends, memories etc., but be responsible.

You’re living on your own now and that means a lot of freedom. Use that freedom wisely. Take care of yourself. Eat. Sleep. Get alone time. Study hard. And have fun. Yes, college is about learning and pursuing your future, but it’s also a wonderful time of adventure. So adventure…just do it wisely, because these four years, whether they’re good or bad, will change you forever.

Cover Image Credit: Anna Smith

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Why Getting Away From Where You Grew Up Is Important

College is the perfect time to get away from home and go out into the real world.

As you get older, life sometimes makes it hard for you to take control and go to the places you've only dreamed of. There's always a work meeting, ballet recital, or something to hold you back from taking that trip planned four summers ago. College is the perfect time to get away from home and go out into the real world.

It's important to get away from everything you know at one point in your life. There is a whole world full of risk, chance, and experience. The security you have in your hometown can be traded in for adventure and change. There's a time to try something new, learn something that blows your mind, or go somewhere that takes your breath away. That time is now, to feel like you are actually doing something worthwhile with your life.

It is important to get away from where you have grown up for some of your life. You need to grow on your own, without anyone there to tell you you're wrong or out of line being a certain way. The transition from high school to college is the gift of independence. You choose who you get to be without anyone holding your past against you. It's a do-over, a second chance after the mistakes and regrets you lived through in high school. Yet, being away from home has its drawbacks as you lose familiar faces, a steady schedule, and many creature comforts. But, all of these can be found in a new place with time. Leaving the place you grew up gives you another chance to grow again, without boundaries. Travel whenever you get an opportunity because it may not come again. Test your limits while living your actual dreams. Go out and explore the world—you're only here once and don't have time to take it for granted. Leaving everything you know sounds scary, but there are great memories to be made out there.

Whether this new place for you is two hours from home, or 20, it's different, it's exciting and it's change. It is important to get away from where you grew up and learn from the adventures you embark on. It is the best way to find yourself and who you want to be. It's what you'll remember when you look back on everything you've done.

Cover Image Credit: Madison Burns

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For Camille, With Love

To my godmother, my second mom, my rooted confidence, my support


First grade, March. It was my first birthday without my mom. You through a huge party for me, a sleepover with friends from school. It included dress up games and making pizza and Disney trivia. You, along with help from my grandma, threw me the best birthday party a 7-year-old could possibly want.

During elementary school, I carpooled with you and a few of the neighborhood kids. I was always the last one to be dropped off, sometimes you would sneak a donut for me. Living next door to you was a blessing. You helped me with everything. In second grade, you helped me rehearse lines for history day so I could get extra credit. In 4th grade, you helped me build my California mission.

You and your sister came out to my 6th grade "graduation". You bought me balloons and made me feel as if moving onto middle school was the coolest thing in the entire world.

While you moved away from next door, you were a constant in my life. Going to Ruby's Diner for my birthday, seeing movies at the Irvine Spectrum and just hanging out, I saw you all the time. During these times, you told me about all of the silly things you did with my mom and dad, how my mom was your best friend. I couldn't have had a greater godmother.

In middle school, you pushed me to do my best and to enroll in honors. You helped me through puberty and the awkward stages of being a woman.

Every single time I saw you, it would light up my entire day, my week. You were more than my godmother, you were my second mom. You understood things that my grandma didn't.

When you married John, you included me in your wedding. I still have that picture of you, Jessica, Aaron and myself on my wall at college. I was so happy for you.

Freshmen year of high school, you told me to do my best. I did my best because of you. When my grandma passed away that year, your shoulder was the one I wanted to cry on.

You were there when I needed to escape home. You understood me when I thought no one would. You helped me learn to drive, letting me drive all the way from San Clemente to Orange.

When I was applying to colleges, you encouraged me to spread my wings and fly. You told me I should explore, get out of California. I wanted to study in London, you told me to do it. That's why, when I study abroad this Spring in London, I will do it for you.

When I had gotten into UWT, you told me to go there. I did and here I am, succeeding and living my best in Tacoma. I do it for you, because of you.

When I graduated high school and I was able to deliver a speech during our baccalaureate, you cheered me on. You recorded it for me, so I could show people who weren't able to make it to the ceremony. You were one of the few people able to come to my actual graduation. You helped me celebrate the accomplishments and awards from my hard work.

When your cancer came back, I was so worried. I was afraid for you, I was afraid of what I would do without the support you had always given me. When I was in Rome, I went to the Vatican and had gotten a Cross with a purple gem in the middle blessed by the Pope to help you with your treatments. It was something from me and a little bit of my mom in the necklace, the gem.

Now, sitting so far from you away at college just like you wanted me to. I miss you. I wish I was there to say goodbye.

I'll travel the world for you, write lots of stories and books for you, I will live life to the fullest for you.

You are another angel taken too early in life. Please say hello to my parents and grandma in Heaven for me.

Lots of love,


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