The End of My First Semester

The semester is coming to an end, and I’m ready for the month-long winter break that Young Harris gives us. I look forward to spending time with my family and seeing all my friends from high school—both make the two-hour drive back home worth it. 

Don’t get me wrong. I have had an amazing first semester. My classes and professors challenged me in the right ways. I’ve also made a lot of new friends along the way that support me and accept me for who I am. Simply, I’ve fallen in love with YHC. The College provides plenty of opportunities for every student to excel academically and socially.

It’s strange to think about how fast the semester went by. It feels like only yesterday that I was moving into The Towers for the very first time. Looking back, there’s nothing I would change about how I did things. I put myself out there in order to meet new people, and I’d say it worked out well. My on-campus job taught me responsibility while also connecting me with the staff and administrators that work behind the scenes. The courses I took made me feel accomplished, and my professors recognized me for excelling. I even learned how to deal with conflict in a professional and respectful way. 

With everything that Young Harris has offered me thus far, it’s the least I can do to tell prospective students how great this College is. I’ve grown to love waking up to the mountains every morning and pulling out my big jackets in the winter.

I hope I was able to give you a better feel for what life is like here on the YHC campus. I’ve had a great time sharing my experiences and knowledge that I’ve learned after just one semester. To anyone out there thinking about joining the Mountain Lion family, I highly encourage it. Choosing Young Harris College was one of the best decisions I have made.

Thank you for reading what I had to say over the past several months. I really appreciate all the support I’ve had in the comments from my friends and family.  

I hope you have a fabulous Christmas with your families and a happy New Year.




Part Two: Navigating Campus


One of the perks of college is being able to live on your own. It’s an amazing feeling to know you are learning the basics of how to provide for yourself. You may get sick, have to do your own laundry and pick up your own mail, but there are people on campus to help you get used to the routine of living on your own.  

The various academic-service offices throughout campus provide assistance to students, including the Academic Success Center which provides tutoring and special seminars, in addition to many other programs. They also have several computers and free printing. There is also the Center for Writing and Speaking, which is part of the College’s Rhetorica program. The folks in the center help with essay writing and will go over speech techniques with you. Another great resource is Duckworth Library, which provides computers and numerous resources for research. The staff also help students find books, and will check citations when writing. It even has 24-hour center that provides a comfortable study for those all-nighters. The Office of Academic Advising meets with students at least twice a year to schedule classes, but they are also available if students have worries about present or future classes. There are even free tutoring options provided by each department here on campus. It's a blessing to have such resources at the deposal of students. They are on campus solely to help us succeed. 

Aside from the academic programs, there are other services available for students. The Health and Wellness Services and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) Center are housed in the basement of Appleby Center Residence Hall. If you are feeling ill, these are the offices to visit! 

Another helpful office is the Office of Information Technology. They assist with any issues the campus community may have with computers or the internet.

There are numerous other offices that provide help to students on campus—it’s just a matter of finding them. 



Navigating Campus

Young Harris College provides beautiful scenery and plenty of sidewalks for students to find their way to class each day. Depending on your major and preference of core classes, there’s a good chance that your classes will be spread out. Luckily, everything is relatively close together and minimizes the amount of walking—or running—you do between places. Finding your way around campus is much easier than you may think. 

Most of YHC’s buildings can be found in the central part of campus, including the residence halls, Grace Rollins Dining Hall, Duckworth Library and several academic buildings. Everything on campus generally revolves around the lawn and the plaza. The lawn also provides shortcuts between areas! Academic buildings such as Goolsby Center, Clegg Fine Arts Building and Maxwell Center sit closer to the front of campus while the residence halls and Recreation and Fitness Center are found closer to the back. One of my favorite things, though, is the fact that most of my classes are only a short walk from the dining hall or The Towers. It allows me to get to places on time or early—sometimes too early—to avoid being that awkward person who walks in after a professor’s lecture has started. This part of campus is also the most crowded area because people are either heading to class or hanging out with their friends. People even ride bikes, scooters and skateboards around the plaza and lawn to quickly get to where they need to go. You’re always bound to run into someone you know.

There are a few outlying buildings on campus. The “Old Brown Store” was recently transformed into mathematics classrooms. It is on the main highway leading to campus, along with the Fine Arts Annex, Center for Appalachian Studies and Community Engagement and the Department of Athletics offices. The Outdoor Leadership Center is closer to the back of campus. I walk over to the Fine Arts Annex and Old Brown Store on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for classes. 

Athletics are a big part of campus life. Many of the athletic fields can be found close to The Village and the Recreation and Fitness Center, including the E.D. Rivers Softball Field, the Zell B. Miller Baseball Field, the Frances W. Wilson Soccer and Lacrosse Field, the Bob and Gail Nichols Tennis Complex and an intramurals field. 

Each YHC student is able to bring a car and park it somewhere on campus. There are multiple parking lots throughout campus, and it’s a great luxury to be able to drive to the nearby towns for food and shopping. 

If you haven’t visited campus for yourself, I recommend scheduling a tour. It’s definitely worth your time—especially now when the leaves are beautiful—to look around and see the things I’ve mentioned. Young Harris’ tight-knit campus has already helped me create close relationships with my friends, co-workers and professors.



Just a Short Drive

There are many unique restaurants and businesses close to campus that allow you an escape from your daily routine. Whether you want to go shopping or to try some new foods, there’s plenty of options around Young Harris. Before I begin, however, I need to mention that these are all recommendations from my friends who have been at YHC for more than a year. Personally, I haven’t explored much off campus yet, so I will happily mention some options they gave me. 

Within the town of Young Harris, there are multiple businesses within walking distance such as the Dollar General. It’s right down the road and allows for easy access to groceries and practically anything you can think of. If you’re feeling like Italian food or subs, Moschetto’s Continental Café is across the street from campus. Another Italian restaurant closer to the YHC tennis courts is Enrico’s Italian Restaurant. Lastly, if you crave some ice cream, students can find Here’s the Scoop in that very same shopping center. 

A lot of students make the short drive to Blairsville or Hiawassee to shop or eat. Each town has its own personality and draws YHC students in with its delicious menus and great products. 

Blairsville has Galaxy Bowling Alley and Blairsville Cinemas, which provide plenty of entertainment for students on the weekends. Closer to town is FATZ Café, a resturaunt that serves classic American meals for families and students to enjoy. There’s also Treasured Creations Art Store and the Collage Boutique, unique stores that sell interesting art and fashionable clothing. Lastly—and maybe most important—the Walmart in Blairsville is only a short drive away to get the essentials in every student’s life.

When heading towards Hiawassee, I definitely recommend stopping in at Brother’s at Willow Ranch. I have fallen in love with this restaurant because of their southern cooking. Continuing on up the road, you’ll find El Cancun for Mexican food and Café Portofino, which serves low-priced wings on Wednesdays. I’ve also been told to mention the Blue Otter Restaurant and Asiano’s. The Blue Otter serves practically everything, while Asiano’s focuses on Asian cuisine. The Loft in Hiawassee is a favorite among the College’s female students. They sell fashionable clothing and accessories for any women out there looking to stay ahead on trends. 

With so many options to choose from, Young Harris students may have a hard time trying to figure out where to get dinner if they go out. Luckily, YHC positioned its campus in the perfect location to allow its students to appreciate the valley’s beauty while still keeping them within short distances of Blairsville and Hiawassee. 



Cures for the Lonely Weekend Blues

Here at Young Harris College, there’s quite a lot of commuters who live nearby and travel back and forth for their classes. Many of the on-campus residents live 30 minutes to an hour from campus, allowing them to take a short drive home each weekend to visit their families. I, for one, am extremely jealous of them. Those that choose to stay on campus over the weekends, though, have the opportunity to enjoy the events and relaxation YHC provides. So, I’m here to say don’t dread the weekends if you have nothing scheduled with your friends. There’s always plenty to do on campus. 

With stressful weeks filled with homework and studying, it doesn’t hurt to spend an entire day winding down and having some fun. Luckily, Young Harris provides the perfect environment to do just that. As I mentioned in a previous blog, people get together on the lawn all the time to play Ultimate Frisbee or football. Right up the road behind campus is a beautiful park and creek area for everyone to enjoy. Although there are events that take place everywhere, this blog will focus on easygoing weekends activities that students love.

A lot of students relieve their stress by lounging on the lawn—just don’t forget your blanket, bug spray and sunscreen! It’s an easy way for friends to spend time together while listening to music and doing homework. It allows you to appreciate the mountains around you and how beautiful the campus truly is. Whether you like to take naps in the sun or have a small picnic, it’s a great way to waste a day and get things done.

Another popular activity to take part in on campus is “Eno-ing.” For those who don’t know, an Eno is a hammock that can attach to poles and trees. I’ve found this is an amazing way to relax in a quiet environment while studying on your computer or reading a book. YHC provides multiple locations for students to hook up their Enos with a group. There are poles behind Enotah Hall, a gazebo next to the Susan B. Harris Chapel and many trees available around campus. You can take your pick—all of the locations are great and bring students together in a unique way.

The campus itself provides tons of peaceful entertainment. There are plenty of spots to sit and relax around campus. There are swings near the gazebo I mentioned earlier, and each residence hall provides comfortable sitting areas that include tables and chairs. There are even rocking chairs outside the Myers Student Center and Appleby Center. 

It really is important for students to stay on campus over the weekends. One of the main reasons college exists is so students can live on their own and get used to the freedom and responsibility necessary to succeed in the future. I know most people miss their parents, but you’re missing out on some amazing experiences by leaving this beautiful campus. 



Bon Appétit

As a full-time student who lives on campus, you have three food options: The Grace Rollins Dining Hall, the Balance Café or microwaveable food in your room. The food in the dining hall is quite tasty, but having snacks and microwavable food in your room is a very smart move just in case you have those late nights of homework that keep you from going to dinner. The Grace Rollins Dining Hall offers plenty of different options that vary each day. Similarly, the Balance Café in the Recreation and Fitness Center offers healthy food choices for those looking to minimize their calories.

That being said, the Grace Rollins Dining Hall is the main location to eat on campus. It provides multiple rooms filled with tables and chairs for both students, locals and professors to dine. It is a multi-stationed, buffet-style cafeteria and you can easily serve yourself. Overall, the dining hall provides tons of options to choose from. There’s a salad bar where you can create your own fresh salad and an international bar where pastas, stews and burritos are served. Similarly, there’s the pizza bar where the general pepperoni and cheese pizza can be found along with specialty pizzas. Next to that is the grill where you can find hamburgers, grilled cheeses, french fries, hotdogs and cheese quesadillas. Lastly, there’s the entrée bar where everything from meatloaf to spaghetti to tacos can be found. Even in the mornings, there’s an amazing buffet filled with pancakes, eggs, bacon and much more. If you want to make your own food in the morning, there’re also toasters, cereals and fruits available. Plus, if you need a sugar burst in the afternoon, there’s an amazing ice cream machine and desert counter provided for everyone. The best part about the Grace Rollins Dining Hall, though, is how it brings the whole campus together in one location. It provides a pleasant, comfortable environment for friends to meet and eat together in between their stressful courses.

Another option I mentioned was the Balance Café. It isn’t open as often as the Dining Hall is, but it definitely is worth the trip if you love subs and coffee. For each swipe of your card, you can get a sandwich or salad, 2 side items, one dessert item, and either a water or a juice. They offer a variety of salads including chicken caesar, Greek, garden and red potato. Plus, they sell fruit and vegetable cups along with yogurts. The Café also sells Starbucks coffee and other foods to those who need a little energy to help survive a long day.

Everything you’ll find on campus is delicious and there is food to meet everyone’s needs—even vegans and vegetarians! The dining hall staff is amazing and is always sweet enough to ask your how your day has been or whether you had a good weekend or not. No matter option you choose, you won’t be disappointed.



Staying in Tip-Top Shape

The dreaded “freshman 15” is on the forefront of some students’ minds even before they head off to college. I’ve found it’s the sweets from the cafeteria and the snacking in your residence hall that can get you.

It’s possible to fight back even if you are the pickiest eater in the world—like me. Whether you’re interested in keeping your figure or building your body up, Young Harris provides multiple options for every student to stay in shape while having a good time.

One of the most obvious places to work out is the Recreation and Fitness Center. The facilities include a basketball court, an elevated track, a rock climbing wall, tons of fitness and weightlifting machines, a dance studio, locker rooms and the Balance Café, a healthy food and juice bar. There’s a wide range of different machines students can use such as treadmills, ellipticals and bicycles. The great thing is, anyone can come and exercise whether you’re the strongest guy on campus or just a small girl wanting to improve your endurance—all it takes to get access to the equipment is a swipe of your student ID at the front desk, and then you’re good to go!

A lot of students take advantage of the awesome area surrounding campus by participating in outdoor activities. The YHC Outdoor Adventures program I mentioned a few weeks ago is one way to have fun outside. A lot of students gather on their own to play ultimate Frisbee and flag football out on the lawn. It’s simple enough—just gather a group of friends, make teams and get moving. Another easy option to stay active is either going on a hike or taking a jog around campus. You can hook up your iPod and go run by yourself on the road or a nearby trail. On the other hand, if you like working with others towards the same goal, join a fitness group in the Recreation and Fitness Center. There are free group fitness classes like yoga, “Ab Attack” and more that aim to help students live healthier lifestyles. 

Even if you’re not interested in working out or playing sports, it is definitely still possible to stay in shape. Students at YHC walk all over the place. You may have a math class in the Brown Building on one side of the campus and then walk to the other side of campus for your computer class in the Office of Information Technology building. A final piece of advice for prospective students: Bring some comfortable walking shoes... I prefer Converse!


Academic Opportunities

There’s much to talk about when it comes to academics at Young Harris College. There are tons of majors and minors to choose from, and each class challenges you to think outside the box. There are endless avenues to explore like pre-class readings, and students get to have a close relationship with their professors. Don’t get me wrong, college can get quite overwhelming, but with good time management and hard work, anyone can keep that perfect 4.0 GPA all year long.

I’m taking five core classes, all worth three hours each except for my First Year Foundations class that counts for two. YHC courses are different than the classes you took in high school, and it’s important to take a course load that’s manageable and not too overwhelming. Professors challenge their students by with fast-paced lectures and assignments that make them think. They expect things to get done because, ultimately, we’re adults now. 

The professors here work to make us more self-sufficient and responsible, so we’ll succeed after graduation. YHC professors will help with anything you need as long as you go to them and ask. If you don’t understand something, they’ll clarify to the best of their ability. Each professor is different in personality and teaching style, but they’re all there to teach their students everything they know. One of my favorite things about Young Harris is how small the classes are, which leads to more one-on-one attention and less distractions in class. 

Attendance is another key to surviving college courses. If you don’t attend frequently, you won’t understand the information that was talked about in class. You’ll feel behind and somewhat lost when you realize the class has simply gone on without you. I recommend a good night’s rest and an alarm in the morning. I’ve found my alarm quite persistent on days I have those early 9 a.m. classes. Young Harris professors actually do keep track of your attendance because they want to see you succeed.

This past weekend, I went on an English department trip to Sylva, N.C. and Asheville, N.C. We visited multiple bookstores and ate at some amazing restaurants. One of my professors, Rosemary Royston, attended the event as well, and I got to know her and her family a little more. I had such a great time with her and the other professors. It just reminded me why I love Young Harris so much. 


Something for Everyone at YHC

One of the most important aspects of enjoying college to the fullest is having an active social life. Whether that’s being involved in clubs or hanging out with newfound friends, there’s plenty to do on campus even when you have no plans at all.

Take me, for example. I’m somewhat shy when it comes to trying new things and putting myself out there. Surprisingly, though, Young Harris has been able to open me up to being more adventurous. That being said, I decided to join some clubs in order to get involved, and one really caught my eye. It was the G.A.M.I.N.G. (Grand Association of Mountain Lions Interested in Nerd Gaming) Club, created this year by my friend Rachel. Like the name implies, we simply play all types of video games on various consoles and have a great time hanging out together. Whether it’s Mario Kart on the Wii or Call of Duty on the Xbox, anyone can come and play. Things get quite competitive in the room, but everyone finds a way to share, even when things get tough. If anyone’s interested, the meetings are Monday nights from 7-9 p.m. in Myers Student Center. Even if you aren’t that great at gaming, come anyway! You’ll meet tons of new people who share a common interest and will gladly help someone who doesn’t know quite how to play.

Likewise, there are multiple groups on campus that plan events every week in order to keep the students involved. One major group that plans activities is the Campus Activities Board (CAB). The work this group has done thus far has blown me away. Out of the events they’ve had, I’ve attended two Coffee House events, a lip sync contest, an ’80s prom and a glow party. Each was extremely fun and gave me time to hang out with my friends. Plus, there’s other events I heard were amazing like the Toga Party, the Foam Party, the root beer float stand and the poster sale. Everyone on campus knows the things CAB hosts are a blast and provide plenty of memories with friends.


Other aspects of the campus community like the YHC Outdoor Adventures program, Greek life, and residence life each have their own and provide the opportunity to get involved and have the time of your life.

YHC Outdoor Adventures mainly focuses on getting students outdoors and enjoying the beauty of the campus and the mountains. I attended a picnic a few weekends ago with my friend and had an awesome time. We played volleyball and had a cookout afterwards. Greek Life offers a social outlet for students on campus, while promoting scholarship and philanthropy. Lastly, the resident assistants in each of the residence halls plan events for students living under their care. It’s a perfect way to meet your neighbors and get along with them better. In The Towers, a few RAs hosted a cool “Create Your Own Dream Catcher” event.

I encourage current and prospective students to get involved on campus because it makes the whole experience more interesting and less stressful. There’s something for everyone at YHC.

One Month In

I just started attending Young Harris College in August. Some people might say, “There’s no way someone can write about college after only being there for a month.” Well, I beg to differ, because the entire experience has been life changing for me, and I’ve already learned so much. 
I’ve gained a sense of freedom I didn’t have before when I relied on my parents for everything. Academically, the Advanced Placement classes I took in high school prepared me for the courses I’m taking right now, yet each class still offers a challenge. Despite my quiet personality, I’ve found myself randomly talking to other students I don’t know just to introduce myself. Ultimately, I’m beginning to realize who I am, and it’s a great feeling.
In this blog, I plan on sharing my experiences and findings in order to inform future students of what they’d be missing out on if they don’t choose Young Harris. Although brochures and campus tours are nice, they only scratch the surface of what college is truly like. My goal, as a current student and as the author of this blog, is to be relatable and give honest advice about what to expect as a YHC student. 
As the weeks go on, I’m going to write about multiple things. I’ll touch on my academic courses and how they require you to ask “why” and “how.” I’ll write about what type of social events happen around campus and how easy it is to meet new people. There are plenty of other things I will mention as time goes on, but if there’s something specific that you want me to highlight, leave a comment below. I will try my best to answer your questions in upcoming posts—and if I don’t know an answer, I will definitely research it and let you know within a reasonable timeframe.
That being said, I can’t wait to tell you all about how great Young Harris College is. It’s one of the best colleges in the state of Georgia—in one of the best locations. In my eyes, it’s the College you fall in love with so much that you don’t even want to leave on the weekends! 


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