My name is Jordan Sliger and I am a senior Fisheries and Wildlife major at the University of Georgia. My time here has flown by, so I want to make sure I tell people about my college experience before I graduate and take on new adventures in December. I was lucky enough to discover Warnell, the School of Forestry and Natural Resources, during my freshman orientation. I quickly discovered that it is the best kept secret at UGA.
Those already part of the Warnell family know it as one of campus’ best kept secrets. Warnell offers its members a small school with a down-home feel on a large campus. Warnell is my home and my family. It is a quiet place full of vibrant, intelligent, and down-to-earth students, faculty, and staff. Although extremely diverse, everyone has the same goal in mind: conservation of our natural world. Every professor is dedicated to their students’ learning. Their passion can be felt behind every lecture, lab, meeting, and story told. Warnell is a small school, the second smallest on campus; however, all of my peers were hand selected because of their love and understanding of our natural resources, as well as their great minds.
One aspect about Warnell that absolutely cannot be overlooked is the student lounge, also known as the local watering hole, study hall, lunch room, nap site, or gathering place to catch up with friends. If you are brave enough to explore the confusing layout of Forestry Buildings 1-4, you will eventually end up in the student lounge. I have spent many days and nights studying, chatting, and snoozing in this sacred room filled with a vending machine, refrigerator, microwave, and the ever so famous blue couches. I remember the first time I walked into this room as a freshman, pre-professional student. At first it was intimidating, but after just a few minutes I realized this was the place to be. Many good Warnell memories of meeting my best friends and getting to know my peers come from the student lounge. Nice people, great conversations, and snacks… what more could you ask for?
Warnell is more than a confusing building complex on campus. It is a body of successful and upcoming leaders in the conservation field. Students, faculty, and staff are dedicated to creating a future for a world that would otherwise use itself into non-existence. Everyone in this school has a purpose and are involved in the school; be it one of the many specialized clubs or organizations, such as The Wildlife Society, Forestry Conclave or Student Ambassadors, student work-study, or internships. Students and professors are not involved because it is required, they are involved because they want to be.
Although Warnell is the best kept secret for many reasons, is it not an exclusive club that only the elite can join. Undoubtedly, Warnell is the most welcoming, open, family-oriented, and supportive school on campus. When a student excels, Warnell acknowledges them. When a professor wins an award, Warnell congratulates and celebrates them. When someone is having a rough time, Warnell sympathizes. You see, in Warnell you are not a number, you are a valued member of a supportive family. This is why I love Warnell and why this school is the best kept secret on campus.