Contrary to popular belief, more things exist at The University of Alabama than football. This past week, high school football teams played against one another in the state championship. I was walking back to my dorm from The Wesley Foundation one night and I was passing a family and I asked: “Are y’all here for the high school playoffs?” And they replied "Yes!" I exclaimed, “That’s so exciting!” Following that, one of the men said “Let me guess, you’re here for football too? Why else would someone come here?” This irked me. Why? I don’t know, but it did. So I replied, “No, I’m here to be a journalist.”
Yes, here at UA we love some college football, but no, UA is so much more than that.
When I was a senior in high school, I toured multiple schools. However, UA seemed to feel like home, even if campus itself was bigger than my hometown. When I announced that I was going to Bama, I got hate, encouragement, and "OMG, That's so cool! Think about the football games!"
I did not even think of a football stadium. I thought of taking notes, studying with friends, Chik-fil-a, and opportunities. And boy, was I in the right mindset. Fall was great, and football season was fun, but I gained an insurmountable amount of knowledge and was already given so many opportunities. I gained friendships, career inspiration, and social skills.
When I think of The University of Alabama, I do not think of Nick Saban. (I'm sure I just offended so many people... Sorry, kinda.) I think of my teachers who look at me not as a number, but as a girl from Slapout, Alabama who wants to learn. I think of my dean who knows me by name and who would give me a letter of recommendation in a heartbeat. I think of my amazing scholarship coordinator who would do anything and the world for me. I think of my mom talking about how beautiful my campus is, and I think of my dad loving the amazing atmosphere. I think of home.
The Capstone Creed reads as follows: "As a member of The University of Alabama community, I will pursue knowledge, act with fairness, integrity and respect; promote equity and inclusion; foster individual and civic responsibility; and strive for excellence in all I do."
I could not agree more with this statement.
Most every student, faculty, or professor I have come in contact with exudes this policy. Students gladly share notes and help each other.
They will send an entire class a study guide or Quizlet without even being asked. Each student knows we should help each other succeed.
All the amazing staff in housing communities and dining halls act with respect, fairness and integrity.
They will do anything to help you, and will do it with a smile on their face. Professors always promote inclusion.
They always make it known that students can come to them no matter what the problem is, whether its related to the class or not.
They always treat each individual student with the same amount of care and respect. Each student is treated as an adult and is given the opportunity to prepare themselves for life with responsibility.
To me, the last bit — strive for excellence in all I do — means the absolute most and completely describes this campus. From President Bell to the newest freshman, everyone here does their part in making this community truly amazing academically, socially, and physically.
I see students studying their hearts out in Starbucks.
I see kindness spread to strangers daily.
I see constant construction and care to expand and renovate campus.
I see this university as a second home, not a football field.
And to that I say "Roll Tide."