West Virginia University Changed Me And Here's Why

West Virginia University Changed Me And Here's Why

West Virginia University is more than just four years.

You've probably heard it all before. Every article, video, or Instagram post that talks about college, says how their school is the best ever and you should all totally go there. I'm not saying that they aren't right because that statement is probably true for them. I'm going to tell about how this university has changed me and my life for good.

Ever since I was little, West Virginia University was my dream college. It was the team on the screen on Saturdays, and the constant merchandise flowing into the house. "A new WVU hoodie?" My dad would ask me. Morgantown was as big on my list as New York City was. When it came down to apply for college, I only wanted to go one place and that was the home of the Mountaineers.

If you have ever seen a small town on a TV screen then you already know everything about my hometown. Smithers, West Virginia is a place that everyone knows everyones business and you are related to over half of the people in it. The chances of a creative student getting out of that town and making it were slim to none, which is why I clung to the idea of college.

I waited impatiently on my acceptance letter. I checked everyday, sometimes three times a day, hoping that I would get in and be able to move away from my hometown.

I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was sitting at home on a Friday, waiting to go to a dinner at my church. I pulled out my laptop and decided to check my status and the words, "Congratulations Leah, You've been accepted," starred at me in bold. I jumped out of my chair and screamed. My dream had come true.

The first time I stepped foot onto WVU's campus as a student, I felt like I was in a movie. I stopped and looked at everyone and everything moving around me. I'm not going to lie, I almost broke out into song. From then on I went to experience everything that the University had to offer.

I took a wide variety of classes to expand my education horizons, such as world religions, novel reading and American Sign Language. I became a member of Omega Phi Alpha and Alpha Phi Omega that allowed me to tune into my need to give back to others in the community. I went to countless football and soccer games, cheering for my team. I worked throughout all four years. I learned how to be an adult and manage my time. I can honestly say that because of West Virginia University I am a changed person.

I watched myself grow from a shy southern belle to a fierce and driven leader. I speak up for what I believe in, I understand the needs of others and I try to speak for those who do not have the voice to do so. I found my passion for journalism and photography; I strive hard to achieve my new goals.

West Virginia University is more than just four years of school to me. It is my home. I will always remember everything it gave to me and all of the sweet memories I hold of her.

Take it from me, West Virginia University is like no other college and you really should look into going here.

Cover Image Credit: Leah Schoolcraft

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Stop Discourging Future Teachers

One day, you'll be thankful for us.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?" It seems like this is the question we heard from the time we were able to talk. Our answers started out as whatever movie or action figure was popular that year. I personally was going to be Cinderella and shoot spider webs out of my wrists at the same time. The next phase was spent choosing something that we read about in a book or saw in movies. We were aspiring to be actors, skydivers, and astronauts.

After we realized NASA may not necessarily be interested in every eager 10-year-old, we went through the unknown stage. This chapter of life can last a year or for some, forever. I personally did not have a long “unknown" stage. I knew I was going to be a teacher, more specifically I knew I wanted to do elementary or special education. I come from a family of educators, so it was no surprise that at all the Thanksgiving and Christmas functions I had actually figured it out. The excitement of knowing what to do with the rest of my life quickly grew and then began to dwindle just as fast.


"Well, looks like you'll be broke all your life."

“That's a lot of paperwork."

“If I could go back and do it again, I wouldn't choose this."

These are just a few replies I have received. The unfortunate part is that many of those responses were from teachers themselves. I get it, you want to warn and prepare us for the road we are about to go down. I understand the stress it can take because I have been around it. The countless hours of grading, preparing, shopping for the classroom, etc. all takes time. I can understand how it would get tiresome and seem redundant. The feeling a teacher has when the principal schedules yet another faculty meeting to talk an hour on what could've been stated in an email… the frustration they experience when a few students seem uncontrollable… the days they feel inadequate and unseen… the sadness they feel when they realize the student with no supplies comes from a broken home… I think it is safe to say that most teachers are some of the toughest, most compassionate and hardworking people in this world.

Someone has to be brave enough to sacrifice their time with their families to spend time with yours. They have to be willing to provide for the kids that go without and have a passion to spread knowledge to those who will one day be leading this country. This is the reason I encourage others to stop telling us not to go for it.

Stop saying we won't make money because we know. Stop saying we will regret it, because if we are making a difference, then we won't. Stop telling us we are wasting our time, when one day we will be touching hearts.

Tell us to be great, and then wish us good luck. Tell us that our passion to help and guide kids will not go unnoticed. Tell us that we are bold for trying, but do not tell us to change our minds.

Teachers light the path for doctors, police officers, firefighters, politicians, nurses, etc. Teachers are pillars of society. I think I speak for most of us when I say that we seek to change a life or two, so encourage us or sit back and watch us go for it anyways.

Cover Image Credit: Kathryn Huffman

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14 Honest College Things The Class Of 2023 Needs To Know ~Before~ Fall Semester

Sit down, be humble.


To The Class of 2023,

Before you start your college career, please know:

1. Nobody...and I mean nobody gives a shit about your AP Calculus scores.


" I got a 5 in Calc AB AND BC, a 5 in AP Literature, awh but I only got a 4 in AP Chem"

2. THE SAME GOES FOR YOUR SAT/ACT SCORES + nobody will know what you're talking about because they changed the test like 10 times since.


3. College 8 AMs are not the same as your 0 period orchestra class in 12th grade.


4. You're going to get rejected from a lot of clubs and that does not make you a failure.


5. If you do get into your clubs, make sure not to overwhelm or overcommit yourself.

visual representation of what it looks like when you join too many clubs


6. It's OK to realize that you don't want to be pre-med or you want to change majors.


7. There will ALWAYS ALWAYS be someone who's doing better than you at something but that doesn't mean you're behind.


8. "I'm a freshman but sophomore standin-" No, you don't have to clarify that, you'll sound like an asshole.


9. You may get your first ever B-, C+ or even D OR EVEN A W in your life. College is meant to teach you how to cope with failure.


10. Go beyond your comfort zone. Join a theatre club if you're afraid of public speaking. Join an animal rescue club if you're afraid of animals. College is learning more about yourself.


11. Scholarships do exist. APPLY APPLY APPLY.


12. Don't try to brag about all the stuff you did in high school, you'll just sound like a weenie hut jr. scout


13. Understand and be sensitive to the fact that everybody around you has a different experience and story of getting to university.


14. You're going to be exposed to people with different opinions and views, don't fight them. Instead, try to explain your perspective and listen to their reasoning as well.


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