Furman Student Life: Past, Present, and Future
Hello everyone, my name is Kobby Frempong, and I am a freshman at Furman intending to major in Biomedical Science on the pre-med track. As I think back on last fall, I reminisce on an incredible semester, great friends, and lots of fun ways I got involved early in my time at Furman.
Fall semester comes with adventures and excitement of being on campus with your classmates and starting a new chapter in your life. Whereas, spring brings beautiful weather, a summer vacation attitude, and vacations. Spring is a time of renewal and growth, and the Furman Advantage offers no exception. This season brings a new energy to campus, with blooming flowers, warmer weather, and outdoor activities. For Furman Paladins, spring means a break from the stress of midterms and finals and an opportunity to recharge and refocus.
One of the most notable aspects of spring at Furman is the increased amount of social and extracurricular activities. “Busyness” is the hallmark of every Furman student, and we seem to enjoy it. From the first night of Spring Semester, the students’ activities calendar has been filled with interestingly exciting activities. Fraternities and sororities hold events, sports teams have games and matches, and clubs host events. The Student Activities Board (FUSAB) is known for putting on events that bring students together to connect with others who share their interests, and can lead to lifelong friendships. From karaoke nights to Winter Ball Evening to free coffee evenings, this semester has been filled with the spirit of community, friendship, and entertainment.
At the start of this semester, I was looking at a very full but very exciting calendar. With this being the second semester of my freshman year in this well-engaged and diverse community, I knew I had to make the most of every “freshman” moment. I remember being hired in the Spring of 2023 and feeling so thrilled to be a part of this team, and that thrill has stayed with me. I was ready to learn all I could and connect with students and my co-interns.
Spring is a time for students to get involved in community service and volunteer work. The Heller Service Corps provides students with the option to select from several amazing volunteering groups where you get to spend time doing what you like. As a member of the Men of Distinction group, I always look forward to meeting and mentoring the amazing kids every week.
Kicking off the semester with the Table Rock Mountain hike, a ski boarding trip, and Greek life activities, we welcomed students back with a week of rush events. A group of my closest friends and I decided to embark on a hike up Table Rock Mountain, a 3124-foot peak some 15 miles away from campus. The journey up the mountain was a test of our physical and mental fortitude with steep inclines and challenging terrains. However, with each step we took, we were rewarded with stunning views of glaciers, alpine meadows, and wildlife. When we finally reached the summit, the feeling of accomplishment was indescribable. We whooped and cheered, taking in the panoramic views and basking in the glory of what we had achieved. We also took a moment to reflect on the journey and appreciate each other’s company.
Another aspect of Furman life that is heightened during spring is the opportunity for travel and exploration. Many students choose to take spring break trips with friends or participate in study abroad programs. With Furman’s newly-implemented May Experience programs (MayX), students now have the opportunity to explore several parts of the world for three weeks, when they learn about topics of their interests and receive academic credits for them. In addition, there are several on-campus MayXs that are offered at no cost. These experiences allow students to broaden their perspectives, experience new cultures, and gain independence. Furthermore, travel can be a great way to relieve stress and recharge after a long academic year.
While spring is a time of excitement and growth, it also brings new challenges. For example, spring can mean increased pressure for seniors who are preparing to enter the workforce. It’s also a busy time for juniors who are starting to think about their future plans, such as graduate school or career options. However, these challenges can also be opportunities for growth and self-discovery. And yet, that does not prevent us from enjoying the Furman Advantage. With activities like “Anything But A Bike” organized by the Outdoor Club, we lay in hope of an active semester, not to talk of the excitement of Valentine’s Day. Not to forget the popular Moonlight Dinner, where we will get to see some of our professors serve us a relaxing breakfast on the Last Day of Class (LDOC).
But like everything in life, this experience must come to an end. It is with a bittersweet nostalgia that we look at the end of the semester from the beginning of it. The time I am having here – filled with laughs and hard work – I will treasure forever. Long live all the magic we make. But as a college, as an institution, we are a monument to inclusion, reason, and respect. We take all comers and assume that all are capable of learning. We assume that all are entitled to our best work, and, at our best, we model the practice of thoughtful conversation. We show people the respect implied in telling them the truth and offer the hope implied in the lesson that things can and will get better. That is what makes Furman unique – our hallmark. I’ve never been prouder to work, and we look forward to an amazing semester.