I’m not going to lie—winter in the north Georgia mountains can get very cold. Especially if you are coming to Young Harris from somewhere in South Georgia or from a southern state with a warmer climate. The last couple of weeks have been so rainy and chilly that I cannot wait until springtime. While I love participating in activities that go on around campus in the fall like painting up for soccer games or attending activities that the Campus Activities Board (CAB) puts on like Fall Fest, spring is definitely my favorite time of year—especially here in Young Harris.

When the sun is shining and the flowers are blooming, the atmosphere on campus is extremely blissful. Students are always out on the lawn playing games like football, ultimate Frisbee or catch. During my freshman year, if I couldn’t find my friends in their rooms, they were usually out on the lawn studying or trying to catch a tan. The lawn is located right in the middle of campus surrounded by most of the residence halls, so it’s easy to spot your friends when you are strolling around or even just by looking out your window.

Spring semester is different than fall. When everyone is coming back from a summer away in August, returning students know what to do, where to go and who they will be around, while the new students are trying to figure all those things out. However, when all of us come back for the spring semester, everyone knows what’s going on. The new students have adjusted to life at YHC, and there is a captivating carefree attitude all over campus.

Spring semester can also be very busy, though, especially if you are a student-athlete who plays softball, baseball or lacrosse. I am a member of the softball team, and we play 56 games, plus a couple tournaments, between February and April. We are on the go nonstop between practices, games and class. People sometimes ask me how I do it, and I always respond, “I just take it one day at a time.” As a student-athlete, I feel that’s all you can do to keep from getting too overwhelmed.

During the past three years, I have learned that in order to get things done—and done right—I have to make a schedule that accounts for every minute of my day with practice times, class times and assignments that are due. College is about learning; learning what works for you as a person and what is going to help you succeed in life. As student-athletes, we are expected to overcome more because we have some much more on our plates. The second we put on a Young Harris College uniform, we are representing the College, both on and off the field. For me, this helps me succeed. Having every minute of my day planned out does not allow for little distracting shenanigans, and helps me stay focused on what’s important.

My college experience will be different from yours, and yours will be different from the next person. College is what you make it, and you have the power to make it the best experience possible.

“Live the life you love, love the life you live.”