Lifelong Bonds

Hi everyone! 

During the spring semester of my freshman year, I joined the Gamma Psi sorority. I never considered myself a “sorority girl,” but I chose Gamma Psi because I had gotten to know a lot of the current members. They were all so kind, fun to be around and cared just as much about the events they were planning as they did about their schoolwork.  

I also really enjoyed the activities they were involved in on campus and in the local community. I would see members of Gamma Psi all sitting together in the dining hall and participating in and hosting campus events, and I knew that I wanted to be a part of a group of such close-knit student leaders. 

Joining Gamma Psi was one of the best decisions I have made because it has provided me with the opportunity to be involved in numerous activities on campus. Gamma Psi has also given me a group of lifelong friends who are extremely dependable.

Gamma Psi is a local sorority that was founded in 1995. A lot of current members still stay in touch with our founders, which just goes to show you how passionate Young Harris students and alumni are about the College and the organizations they are involved in. 

I rushed Gamma Psi with eight other girls. It’s hard to believe that when we began rushing, some of us didn’t even know each other. Now, even with so much going on in our lives, we all still manage to get together and stay in touch at least once a week. We spend as much time together as possible. Even if we aren’t always able to hang out, we know if we need someone, they’ll be there in an instant to help. 

In Gamma Psi, we try to be involved in all of the major events hosted by YHC. Some of these include Homecoming, Fall Fest and the Student Organization and Local Business Fair. Lots of organizations set up booths at Fall Fest with candy, crafts and games for kids in the community who come to campus to trick-or-treat before Halloween. Two years ago, we sold miniature pumpkins for attendees to decorate. It’s a great way for us to interact with our campus and local communities while making our sorority’s name known.

My favorite event Gamma Psi hosts at YHC is the Tacky Christmas Sweater Dance, which takes place at the end of the first semester. Students come dressed in silly Christmas ensembles and dance to holiday favorites. There’s always a big turn out since it’s one of the last events for students to see each other before winter break starts. 

We also do philanthropy work for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. One October, we sold pink hair extensions to students who wanted to show their support for breast cancer awareness month. It was really awesome to see people walking around campus with the extensions in, and we were able to donate more than half of the proceeds to the foundation. 

In addition to Gamma Psi, I was chosen to be a “sweetheart” in a local fraternity, Alpha Xi. I love having both a group of sisters and brothers who I can always count on. These are two truly unique Greek organizations, and I am blessed and honored to be a part of them. If you’re interested in Greek life, it’s important to explore all of your options and find which fraternity or sorority fits you best. Greek life is a great way to be more involved on campus and can give you the opportunity to gain leadership skills. 

Being in Gamma Psi and Alpha Xi is like having family away from home. Both organizations have enhanced my YHC experience—each group has so much to offer. It’s a bond that lasts forever with lifelong friends. 


Until next week,

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. 


Falling for Fall

Hi everyone! 

There has been a noticeable change in the air this week. I hate to say it, but summer is officially over and the cool fall weather is setting in. I can’t be too upset by this because Young Harris is, without a doubt, the best place to be during this season. 

Driving around town, I noticed a few leaves were already starting to change colors. Soon the mountains will be painted with hues of red, orange and yellow, and people on campus will slowly be bundling up in coats, scarves and boots. This is a great time to make a visit to YHC and witness the picturesque scenery for yourself! 

There’s a lot happening on campus during the fall. Family Weekend is always held when the leaves are at their peak, so families can enjoy the beautiful north Georgia mountain scenery. This is the perfect time for students to introduce their families to professors and give them an overall feel of life at YHC. I always love it when my mom and brother come to visit because they get to be around my friends and learn about new things going on at the College. 

Another event YHC offers in the fall is Homecoming, which is my favorite weekend of the year because students, alumni and friends of the College are all a part of it. Everyone who loves YHC comes together to celebrate the opening home game of the Mountain Lions basketball teams. The weekend begins with a pep rally and huge bonfire to get everyone pumped up with school spirit. On Saturday, student organizations and local businesses parade floats through campus. For the past two years, I’ve participated in the parade. It’s so much fun to decorate your float according to the theme of Homecoming and then have it displayed for everyone. Last year’s theme was “A Blast from the Past,” and the Student Government Association decorated our float with things that reminded us of our childhood such as Uno cards, cassettes and boy band names.

After the parade, the lawn in the middle of campus is set up with tables and everyone gathers for a delicious catered lunch. It’s a great way for students to mingle with alumni and get to hear stories about past YHC adventures. After the picnic, everyone makes their way to the “Valley of Doom” for the men’s and women’s basketball games. There is so much energy built up for this event, it’s hard not to get swept up in the excitement. Everyone is cheering on the beloved Mountain Lions, hoping for a victory to kick off the season! 

Summer may be over, but the change of fall is bringing a lot of excitement to YHC. I can’t wait for the crisp mountain air and vibrant leaves to attract new and old friends to the mountains.


Until next week,

Summer Session in the Mountains

Hi everyone! 

This past summer, I participated in YHC’s Summer Session for the second time. The program usually runs from mid-June to mid-July, and it’s a great way for returning students to stay ahead on credit hours and improve their GPA. It can also be beneficial to freshmen who want to experience the college lifestyle a little early, get acclimated with the campus and dive in to classes.

I chose to enroll in summer classes so I could lighten my load a little during the normal academic year. YHC is known for their small class sizes and professors who truly care about their students, and this is exemplified even more during Summer Session. 

During my first Summer Session in 2012, I enrolled in “Elementary Spanish II” and “Introduction to the Solar System.” My Spanish class had only two other people in it. I was able to ask all of the questions I needed to in order to understand the material, and our professor was extremely accommodating to our needs since there were so few of us in the class. It was truly the ideal learning environment because we got so much extra attention.

In my astronomy class, we had several outdoor labs at the YHC Observatory located at Brasstown Valley Resort. Since it was summertime, we were able to view an entirely different set of constellations than the students who took the course in the fall or spring—another unique experience for Summer Session students.

I recently took “Intermediate Spanish I” and “Introduction to Human Communication.” Both classes had fairly small class sizes, and my professors were willing to go above and beyond to ensure we understood the course information. 

Since Summer Session at YHC is only a month long, it can be fairly fast paced. I wouldn’t recommend taking more than six credit hours since it’s such a short amount of time, but the experience as a whole is definitely worth it. In addition to classes, the program offers students a rare opportunity to explore campus and the local community during the quiet of summer.

On the first day of Summer Session, every student gets a T-shirt and a list of activities the College has planned for students while they are on campus. This year’s activities included a free wing night at a local restaurant, a ticket to the Taste of Southern Highlands (a local tasting event to raise money for charity), several free movie nights and even a trip to see the Atlanta Braves play! 

During this time, the campus generally has a more relaxed feel. The campus is less crowded, so it’s a great time to get to know other students and make new friends. One of my absolute favorite things to do after class was go out on Lake Chatuge on my boyfriend’s boat. It was a nice way to unwind in between going to class and studying. I even learned how to wakeboard this summer!


YHC Summer Session was one of my favorites times at the College, and I highly recommend it to new and returning students. It’s a great way to get ahead on credit hours and, trust me, it certainly can improve your GPA. You never know what rare and exciting opportunities Summer Session has to offer because each year is different.

Until next week,

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! 



Feeling Nostalgic

Hello everyone! I’m glad you’ve found your way to my very first blog post! Starting my fourth and final year at YHC has made me very nostalgic lately, and I would like to share a defining moment from my freshman year that initiated my everlasting love for Young Harris.
YHC wasn’t really on my radar when I began my college search. As a high school senior, I scheduled a visitation with little knowledge of the College besides the fact that my aunt attended YHC in the ’70s’s and it was a place that fostered many fond memories for my mom, her sister, and the rest of their family. Upon arriving for my tour, I was immediately taken aback by how beautiful the campus was. Tulips were in bloom everywhere I went—if you have been at YHC in the springtime, you know how colorful they make campus!) While on my tour, people I had never seen before were smiling at me and waving to me. Right away, the small, intimate feel of Young Harris wrapped me in, and I knew that this was where I needed to be. 
When I arrived in the fall for classes during my freshman year, I knew one person—my best friend and roommate, Erica. The first week was a whirlwind of events. The Campus Activities Board always plans Welcome Week for new and returning students. One night, they had a huge inflatable screen blown up on the lawn and invited everyone to watch a movie under the stars. In addition, things were set up on the plaza in the middle of campus, and everyone came out to mingle. Although it was scary at first having to meet new people, I made friends who to this day still play a part in some of my favorite YHC memories.
After my first week of classes, we went up to Bell Mountain. It’s certainly a treacherous place to get to if you’re not careful because the road to the top has been worn down from many years of travel and rainwater. But, believe me, the hike is absolutely worth it. When we got to the top, I was amazed that I was still in the small area that surrounds the College. The view was breathtaking. Off in the distance, I could see YHC nestled into its protective valley and I knew that I could call this place my home.
I often think about my first week of school at Young Harris. It’s very bittersweet and hard to imagine this is my last year here. I’m determined to make it the best year yet and embark on adventures that will allow me try totally new things while I still can. This year, I’ll have a busy workload with organization meetings, classes and study sessions, but I know every bit of it will be worth it once Commencement comes in May.
It’s easy to get caught up in the wonders of Young Harris College. It’s such an amazing environment to be in with so much to offer, and I can’t wait to share more of it with you! 
Best wishes until next week,


End of the Semester

Where has this year gone? I just finished 50 percent of my college career! Can I give you some advice? Enjoy every single minute because it sure does fly by. It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in the big white rocking chairs in front of Appleby Center at 4 a.m. waiting to begin START Orientation.

This year has been busy, but it has also been amazing. I am one step closer to graduation and medical school, but I am not quite sure whether to be happy, sad, nostalgic or indifferent. The people at YHC truly are my family, and this year’s tears were even worse than last year’s. I had to say goodbye to friends that I had gotten to know deeply over the last two years. Brothers, sisters, friends and buddies all walked across that stage at Commencement this year, and I cannot help but reflect on the memories we shared together.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog each week. I know that I have enjoyed writing it. I hope you all have a great summer, and hopefully I will run into someone next year that actually read some of my blogs!

I just got an email from a wonderfully kind alumnus thanking me for writing this blog. So sir, if you are reading this, I thank you for your praise. Have a great summer, folks.




Summer is finally here! Well, it's actually just finals week but still... summer! Even though my schedule is jam packed with things to do, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and that is the only thing that keeps me going. Finals week is usually the most stressful time of the entire year. Everything is due the week before, and then the actual tests are given the next week. Many people end up pulling all-nighters. I’ll admit that I’ve pulled a couple myself during freshman year. That was the worst mistake ever. Even though I got my paper done and completed my study guide, I could not remember anything that I had looked at the night before because I was so tired. I literally fell asleep during my test. I would never suggest pulling an all-nighter. What you need to do is take naps every once in a while. What I usually do is study for two hours, and then I take a 30-minute nap. Obviously you can change it to fit your lifestyle, but that's what works for me.

There are actually ways to not stress out over everything. Time management is the most important skill for a college student to learn. If you learn this, you will not be as stressed as you would have been otherwise. I wish someone would have told me about time management years ago. It took me three years to understand how to do it. There is a difference between knowing that you have to do it and knowing how to do it.

Summer is my absolute favorite time of year—the sun is shining, we get to go on the boat and I can sit by the pool with no worries in the world. However, I am going to miss everyone over the summer. My friends and I spend every day together for eight months, and then we don't see each other at all for three months.

It saddens me to say, but this will be my last blog for the semester. It has been a blast writing and telling everyone what goes on at Young Harris College. Although I mostly wrote about things in my life, they are things that almost every other student on the YHC campus can relate to. The stress, the fun, the good times and the bad—it happens to us all. College is what you make it, so make it your best.

Thank you for reading along,

God bless,

Kali Shimmin



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