Yesterday, I graduated from Gardner Webb with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and minoring in Spanish Cultural Studies and Theatre. I thought it would be fun to have a post about memories of Gardner Webb. Gardner Webb is not just a college: it feels like home to me.
The Gathering- The Gathering is my school’s student-led worship service. I been to almost every single one of them. By singing those Contemporary christian songs and listening to the sermons, I became stronger in spirit. I just cannot believe they are over. Song range from “Fierce”, “Come to the River”, “One Thing Remains”, “Anchor”, “You Make Me Brave”, “Power to Redeem and “You Make Me Brave”. Some of these are songs I only heard in one semester or only heard once.
Snow Days- there are days on Campus when school would be closed due to snow. The very first snow day, I was actually building a snow man without water proof globes, which was quite cold. The most recent snow day, which was this year, my suite mates and I literally went sledding down on cushions from our suite with a garbage bag on top and that was one of the best ways to go sledding and I had snow creme for the first time.
Wicked/Les Mis- there are two times where I went with my school to see a musical. Both Greenville and Charlotte are close enough to do that. The first was Wicked, which was in 2016. That would be my 4th time seeing Wicked , which was in Charlotte and I felt the most vulnerable and emotional this time around and part of that had to do with seeing it with my school, a school that has changed me “for good”. One thing that was crazy about Wicked was that after the show ended, the bus we came in was broken so we had to wait quite a while, which was long enough to see the evening show audience start to arrive.
The 2nd show I saw with my school was Les Mis, which was in Greenville. This would be the 5th time seeing the stage show. This was my 1st time seeing it on tour and my 1st time seeing the 25th anniversary production. I had an understudy as Eponine this time around. I loved this production.
Theatre- I have attended 13 shows during my time at Gardner Webb and for seven of those shows, I have either house managed or ushered for. Some of those shows were required and some I choose to see. I did not like all of them, but I did either enjoy or love part of them.
Candy and Critters-this happens around Valentine’s Day. We are allowed to make a stuffed animal and get candy. Pictured below are the critters I made. I will name each of them. Beatrice Rose, the bunny, was made in Feb. of 2015 and she is my sleep buddy. I named her Beatrice Rose because of B for bunny and rose for her color. Magenta, the camouflage bear, was made in Feb. of 2016 and she was named due to her color. Rainbow, the dog, was named Rainbow for obvious reasons and I made her Feb. of 2017.
We are only allowed one, but 2018 was very different. I ended up making two because we were told that if we waited long enough and if there enough we could make two. In 2018, I came to the event wanting to name a stuffed animal after a musical theatre character. I did not who the character would be yet because I tend to name stuffed animals after what they look like. Eponine, the brown bear, is named that because Eponine tends to wear a brown color scheme and due to heart-shaped patches, which have stitches around the outside remind me of a broken heart, which both fit the character perfectly. The 2nd stuffed animal, I made was the rainbow bear and her name is Tiedye for obvious reasons.
Pinterest Night- this is another memory of Gardner Webb. In the past two Pinterest nights I been to, we were allowed to paint whatever we wanted. In the 2016 Spring Pinterest night, I decided to make a Disney Canvas after experiencing the Leadership Program by Disney where we took two classes and were able to spend the rest of the trip experiencing Disney. It was one of the best Gardner Webb memories of the semester. My Fall 2017 Pinterest night, I decided to come in having no pre-planned idea on what to paint. I started out with the red dome with the black border. One of my friends said it reminded her of a stage so I went with the musical theatre theme. There are yellow curtains with five stars on the top. I knew I wanted to put Elphaba up there since she is my favorite musical character, but I felt like it needed something related to Les Mis.
Big E- this is a place in Gaffney where you can bowl, play laser tag and watch movie. At 11:00 at night, it closes it self off for just Gardner Webb students. There are usually about five to six movies to pick from. Before my last year, no movie has interested so I never went. But in this final year, I finally found movies I want to see. My first movie, Murder on the Orient Express, I did fall asleep during. My 2nd movie, Greatest Showman was wonderful and I stayed awake since it was a musical movie filled with spectacle and dance and wonderful songs and since I am a musical theatre fanatic, I was able to stay awake. The last Big E movie, I Can Only Imagine, was wonderful because it tells the story of how that song came to be written.
Skate Night- three times this semester, I went to skate night. Just like the Big E, at a certain time it closes it self off for just Gardner Webb students. Skate Night starts at 10:00 at night.
Disney World- Student Activities every Spring Break would take a group of students to Disney World for a leadership experience. We would take two classes and then just spend the rest of the time enjoying Disney and the rule was outside of classes we had to be with someone. I was so looking forward to meeting Anna and Elsa and Character meals and rides. I got to see more than one firework show and one of them was Star Wars-themed. I got to go to the day and night parade at Magic Kingdom. I actually spent time at all four parks since we were there for a week. I was on a meal plan during that week so I was able to have a character meal every dinner and having that meal plan in some ways saved money and made it not as stressful figuring out where to eat.
Late Night trips to Cookout- This year, about twice, my suite mates and I would drive to Shelby at 10:00 or 10:30 at night to get milkshakes at Cookout. Shelby is only about twenty or thirty minutes away from school.
Day Trip to Asheville- Gardner Webb is one hour away from Asheville. One day, my suite-mate and I and one of her friends went to Asheville for the day. We started out on the Blue Ridge Parkway and we ended up in the clouds where we couldn’t see anything and that is when we decided to turn around. Then we walked a bit around Asheville and stopped at Malaprops where I bought a “mystery” book.
School dances- I have been to a number of school dance. I have been to three formals among others. The light pink dress was from Spring Formal 2015. The bright pink dress was from Winter Formal 2017 and I look like Glinda since the dress reminded me of her “Popular” costume. The dress with the flowers is from Spring Formal 2018.
Hikes- Gardner Webb is close enough to certain hiking places so I went on a couple of those throughout my time here.
Sunset/Sunrises- one of the best things about Gardner Webb is the campus has quite beautiful sunrises and sunsets. The sunset on the bottom right was the last sunset I ever saw.
Rainbow in Lake- Gardner Webb has this wonderful lake, which usually has geese and ducks spending time near it and every once in a while through the fountain you catch a rainbow.
Halloween 2017- just last Halloween two of my suite mates and I dressed up. Here we are as Castiel, Eponine and Padme. I dressed up as Eponine because over the same summer, I dressed up as Eponine for a Les Mis party. So I already had the costume and that is why I dressed up as Eponine. I remember walking around Campus with people not knowing who I was even though they knew I dressed up as a character from Les Mis. I got into my Eponine costume around 3:00 and stayed in costume until about 10:00.
Gingerbread House and Meeting Santa
Birthday Celebrations- I have been lucky to have friends who celebrate my birthday. My birthday is in January and because my birthday is usually the week it is time to start Spring Semester, I am not able to celebrate my birthday with my family the day of it. During on birthday celebration, one of my friends decided to make me a shirt and knowing me made a Les Mis shirt that says “Keep Calm and Talk about Les Mis”. This year, I lived in the suites and my suite mates celebrated my birthday with me. We went out to FATZ for lunch. To my surprise when I came back, my room was decorated and filled with 24 balloons. They ended up getting me a snow globe with a picture of all three of us. To end the birthday celebration, we ended up watching the movie, Beauty and the Beast (2017).
Campus Civitan- for most of my time here, I was a member of Campus Civitan, a volunteer club. I even served as president and I never thought I would be an officer, let alone president. But i stepped up in the middle of one year when the officers all either graduated or stepped down. We were part of the Homecoming parades, participated in Relay for Life and Octoberfest, volunteered at Miracle Hill, Special Olympics and raised awareness for people with disabilities. For Valentine’s day, we would stuff the mailboxes with a note and candy.
Pumpkin Painting- once a year, my school does pumping painting. The first year I painted an actual pumpkin. But the other years they used a clay pumpkin-something like that. This year’s pumpkin was Gardner Webb themed. That is why the background is red and why I put black paw prints on the red. Gardner Webb’s mascot is a bulldog and their colors are red and black. I think its funny how Gardner Webb’s colors are red and black and that a song from Les Mis is “Red and Black”.
Glow Zumba- about once or twice a year, Gardner Webb has an unique Zumba. It is called Glue Zumba where you do Zumba in the dark and you put on glow paint. It is so much fun.
Easter Egg Hunt- once a year, Gardner Webb hides Easter Egg’s and if you find one you get a prize. It is very hard to find an egg and get a prize. But last year, right when I got an email saying they hid the eggs, I got dressed quickly and started looking. Before the Easter Egg hunt, I saw some of the prizes and was eying this big blue gray and big stuffed bunny. Your prize is based off the number in the egg, but due to being the first to redeem an egg, Students Activities gave me the bunny and I named him Chester.
Chilling out in the suite- My last year, I moved from living to the dorms to the suites. Some of my favorite memories have been spending time with suitemates in the suites
Below are pictures of me and Gardner Webb.
Gardner Webb is “home” to me. It made me more spiritually strong than I was before. I was spiritually strong before Gardner Webb, but it developed that strength even more. It made me understand the importance of going outside of my comfort. I had to become officer of Civitan let alone president and I see myself as more of a follower than a leader. I transitioned from leaving in a dorm to living in the suite. The suites are still on Campus and still feel like they are part of Campus, but still feels like they are independent. It taught me that sometimes roadblocks can happen when you least expect and I learned that due to having Western Civilization II in my last semester. I learned that sometimes your spirituality can be challenged. It has changed me “for good” due to the lessons I have learned and the people I have met.