I’m not quite sure when Warnell first started feeling like a home and family to me. There are many instances where this could have occurred. It could have been when I spent the weekend bonding and white water rafting with my fellow ambassadors. It could have been when my lab partner in Soils and Hydrology became one of my best friends. It is possible that it was when I held Dr. Castleberry’s tarantula in his freshman seminar. But really I think it started from the very beginning when I walked into the academic fair and saw the Warnell banner with the giraffe on it and Emily Saunders holding a snake. Immediately I walked up to Emily and said, “This is where I need to be.” I explained to her my passions and she kindly explained how I was definitely in the wrong major and needed to join Warnell. I did not hesitate to sign the paper right then and there to change my major to wildlife sciences. I was officially a part of the family.
When I first applied to the University of Georgia I had never heard of Warnell. Now I can’t imagine UGA without it. My Warnell pride runs deep for so many reasons. First, I have the privilege to spend time in the great outdoors for lab. Upon hearing that I have three labs a week, most people start saying how sorry they are for me. However, I quickly inform them that labs are one of my favorite parts of school and I look forward to them! Even the indoor labs are great – it’s not every day you get to dissect a red fox. Second, the faculty is absolutely amazing. When I tell people that my advisor has spent over two hours with me talking about my future and has sent me several emails with helpful information, they are shocked and usually say, “I wish mine would do that.” I know I’m blessed. The truly awesome thing is that this is just one example of the love and care I have received from the professors and advisors here at Warnell. Third, I have made so many friends here that I know will be my friends forever. There is nothing quite like bonding when you’re knee deep in mud trying to cast that perfect animal track. It’s wonderful to meet so many people that have the same passions as I do. So thank you Warnell for all the learning opportunities and fun times. Here’s to many more!