Class of 2022: Exercise Science majors find purpose at Georgia College
I magine stepping foot onto campus for the first time with a dream of helping others live healthier lives yet being unsure how to move forward. That’s exactly the situation Caroline Jones and Nicole Andrews found themselves in just four years ago.
Jones recalls being committed to Georgia Tech. Her dad is a proud Georgia Tech alumnus. But if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then there is something special about Georgia College & State University that many don’t initially see.
“I was one of the many who came to Georgia College thinking they would be gone in a year. Boy, was I wrong about that,” she said. “I fell in love with Milledgeville, from always having a familiar face on campus to the small class to professor ratio, Georgia College became the place that I knew I would succeed and put me in the best position to achieve my goals.”
Andrews knew she had found her home after visiting campus for a tour.
“When I first toured the campus, I knew that this is where I wanted to go. The campus was gorgeous and felt like the perfect fit,” Andrews said. Exercise science was an easy choice for both seniors. While Jones wants to pursue physical therapy, Andrews saw many different career opportunities for a graduate with an exercise science degree. Growth is a common theme both seniors use to describe their time at the university.
“I have grown in every way imaginable throughout these last four years at Georgia College,” Jones said. “The university has provided me with the space to step out of my comfort zone while knowing that I have a support to fall back on if I needed it. I have learned how to fail well. I know how to work with people who don’t do things the same way as me. I am more confident in who I am and have no doubt in my capabilities.”
Andrews agrees. She credits the open environment and encouragement from her professors as keys to her growth.
“My time at Georgia College has made me feel more confident and comfortable in my skills both in and out of the classroom,” she said. “All my classes have had such an open environment where I felt like I could talk and grow.”
If there is one piece of advice both Jones and Andrews could give to current and incoming students, it would be to get involved with campus. As a student on campus, Andrews worked in the library. She also spent time at the gym either working out or taking classes that were offered.
“Having these social outlets helped me open up while helping me stay in a good place,” she said. “COVID-19 made activities hard, but the school was great about having alternatives available.”
Jones was involved in several organizations on campus such as Georgia College Miracle, Kappa Delta, and Georgia College’s chapter of Delight Women’s Ministries.
“Getting involved on campus is something that made my time at Georgia College so special, Jones said. “It has given me the opportunity to get to meet people I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to know outside of these organizations. Some of my best friends have come from being involved in these things.”