Every August at Toccoa Falls College, a new group of freshmen move in, make friends, and love Jesus right in our midst. Some stand out as leaders while others just want to turn in their spiritual formation journals in on time. This year, TFC has been graced with the largest freshman class since 2007. While each freshman has a story to tell and an opinion of his / her first month at school, three freshmen in particular form the basis of this article: Susannah Bloomer, Michelle Stephenson, and Daniel Snow.
All three are true freshmen. Bloomer is an early childhood education major, while Snow and Stephenson are performance majors with specialties in guitar and piano. All three are truly different people, but agree on many parts of TFC culture. When asked what their favorite part of TFC is, Bloomer and Snow both agree the professors have been friendly, helpful, and caring and knowledgeable, and Stephenson has become acclimated to the music culture here. Freshman orientation week is a vital part of integrating freshmen into TFC culture. From tours of the campus, to the multiple daily Wal-Mart runs, the week often feels like camp for all students who take part in it. Every TFC student can remember one part of that week which they will never forget. SGA provided numerous activities for the freshmen during the week. From scavenger hunts, to hiking trips, and even a few games were played for fun. For these three, SGA’s showing of “The Avengers” was a highlight as well as playing ultimate Frisbee with their soon to be classmates. Since freshman orientation week, SGA has provided the student body with events on a weekly basis. While “The Avengers” has still been a memorable event for all who attended, Stephenson considers the luau as her favorite SGA activity. The waterslide provided was not just a spectacle to behold, but an adventure to be experienced by all who attended the event.
After all the orientation procedures are finished and classes have been in session for a month, the freshmen have settled into life as a TFC student. While syllabus shock may still keep people up at night, and the fear of missing classes inspires early rising, life still goes on. Assessments are taken, graded, and then returned to the fresh faced students under the watchful eye of upperclassmen. While the easy part of college is over, each student emphatically spoke of their favorite memory thus far at TFC. For Bloomer, making new friends has framed her experience here. Stephenson emphatically answered that she truly loves everything about college here. Snow spoke of being able to worship God under the stars. In one way or another, these experiences are relatable for each person who has every gone to college. The freedom to live life combined with love for God and his people have shaped the new student’s first month here.
What does all this mean for the rest of campus? One word comes to mind: legacy. We have been given the opportunity to shape the college experience of others who we see on a daily basis. While the seniors of last year who shaped and formed our experiences have left, we are still here. God is still working on campus, and the evidence can be seen in not just the small matters of campus life, but the larger aspects as well. From SGA, to chapel, to faculty, and even friendships, there is a place for every student to learn more about the body of Christ from one another. It is time for a new generation of students to shape the direction of TFC. With new faces and dedicated lives, the class of 2016 is a sight to behold and be proud of.