Admissions Blog Posts

Reflecting on Growth: A Journey Through Academics, Athletics, and Communication at Furman

Last updated November 9, 2023

By Elijah Poritzky


Hello everyone! As I get closer to the end of my 5th semester at Furman, I wanted to give you a bit of a summary of what I have done since I have been here and how these opportunities have made me who I am today.

Year 1: Exploration

In my first year, I did not know what to expect. I came to Furman after doing online school for five years and had a full-time training schedule. The first few weeks hit me hard as I had to adjust to going to class as well as having a tough tennis and weights program. During my first semester, I took a variety of classes to try and find something that I enjoyed. I loved every class that I took. From philosophy to computer science, I learned about topics that I was previously not familiar with. Since the first day I arrived, I was bombarded with the question, “What do you want to major in?” I always replied with “I’m not sure” or “still undecided”. Ever since I was a child, I had the goal of being a professional tennis player, and I never really thought about what I would major in in college. I now realized that this was something I had to start thinking about. 

As the second semester rolled around, I took a public speaking class where I would learn to write speeches and then present them. I realized I put a lot of effort into my speeches because I wanted them to make people listen. It was at this point that I found my passion for communicating and knew that I wanted to pursue more communication classes.

While continuing my first year, I got to do community service with the Heller Service Corp, which was my first community service experience. In doing this, I found joy in helping others in ways I never had. 

My first-year experience did not just teach me about college and tennis; it also gave me opportunities to learn more about who I am and what path I want to take.

Year 2: Year of Opportunity

I started my second year at Furman CONFIDENT. I just got through the challenging first year everyone talked about, and I felt like Furman was my second home. Seeing all the new first-year students looking around, trying to figure out where their classes were and what food they should eat, gave me a sense of accomplishment knowing I got through that (obviously, I helped them out). The class that I was most excited about was Digital Storytelling. This was a media class where I knew I would have an edge because of my previous experience in creating video projects. It was good that I had experience, but this class was TOUGH. We had projects due every week, and I slowly became overwhelmed. I began to meet with my professor, and she gave me good advice to excel in my projects. Since she saw I was doing well, she began to ask if I wanted to do other projects and programs outside of class.

In my first semester of sophomore year, I joined the Communication Advisory Board and the Furman University News Channel. On the Advisory board, I could see the behind-the-scenes of the COM department, and with the news channel, I could use my communication skills to share information with others. The more and more I interacted with these organizations, the more comfortable I got with the positions and the people in them. Getting involved with extracurricular activities helped me gain lots of new skills, experience, and friends. 

Year 3: Improving my skills

Fast forwarding to today, I am in my third year at Furman. I am now the vice president of the communications advisory board and vice president of the student-athlete advisory committee. Instead of being solely a member of the Furman news channel, I now supervise and help others when they need it. Being in higher positions in these organizations has taught me how to lead and use my skills to aid others. I was given the opportunity to be a Teacher Assistant and have my office hours in the media lab. I love doing this because I can use all the skills that I have learned to help others with their projects. As I end my first semester of junior year, I continue to learn and improve the skills that I already have. I am excited to see what the future holds and what new experience I can obtain.