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What College Means to Me: The Series – Rachel Goetz

The transition from high school into freshman year of college has the natural potential to be challenging in many ways. For freshmen in 2020-21, the pandemic certainly contributed to the challenges, but could it have been possible that the pandemic might have actually added to students’ college experiences as well?

For Rachel Goetz, a sophomore entrepreneurship major with a minor in sales, the pandemic certainly presented its own challenges, but also provided her with a unique experience at Grove City College. Online classes with people she had never met, mandated masks anywhere but her room, a lack of social events that could take place, the looming risk of a two-week quarantine, and contact tracing lists a couple hundred people too long were all minor pieces of life at Grove City College during a time which sometimes sounded impossible to enjoy. For Rachel, though, there was joy amidst it all. She experienced community that, arguably, was more intentional to creatively find ways to invest in one another than in past years, and that was all Rachel hoped for entering into her freshman year of college.

I guess the idea that “people appreciate more of what they did not know they had” became a very real thing for the Grove City College community. When asked how she would describe the Grove City College community, Rachel said, “Impactful…everyone has good intentions of building relationships more.” She commented on not only the community of friends she found within her peers, but also the professors’ intentionality in wanting to get to know their students outside of the classroom. “Professors want to get to know you and will take the time to do so,” is how Rachel put it. Although the pandemic complicated the church scene, Rachel also found community members within local churches that were excited to creatively invest in her as a student and sister in Christ. In whatever fashion you experienced the pandemic, it is not hard to understand the challenges that arose because of it, but Rachel said, “Coming to Grove City College has meant to me that I get to grow in my faith spiritually and find life-long friends who will help me do that,” and that is seemingly what she continues to find, even amidst a world-wide pandemic.

Rachel’s advice to incoming freshmen is this: “You’re here for school, but don’t let that become your entire experience. Live without regrets…. You have your entire life to work.” See an attractive opportunity? Try it out! Meet a new person? Grab a meal! Find an adventure? Go for it! College will provide you with plenty to do…take advantage of that! You only regret what you do not try…isn’t that what they say?

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