Greetings to all who choose to read this “blawg” written by a fellow “dawg.” My name is Taylor Hildebrand. Here at Gardner-Webb University I am a junior, majoring in Middle Grades Education with a concentration in mathematics. I know what you are thinking: “Eww, MATH! Why would you want to teach middle school, let alone math?” Crazy enough, math is one of my favorite subjects and some of my best memories in school were during my middle school years. Now that you know a little bit more about who I am, keep reading about my life at The Webb and why less really is more in a small town!
Just like the actual boiling spring, this beautiful university is considered small. My largest class size was approximately 28 students, and my smallest class size had a total of 5 students. Professors I have had in the past and professors I have currently all know me by name and take time out of their schedule to have life chats with me. One of my best friends at a major university in South Carolina had a class with over 100 students in it, so when she mentioned her professors didn’t know her by name, I couldn’t relate. You really are a name and not a number here.
This is the place where I have met friends for life and had experiences like never before. I went on my first camping trip called Big Sweep with the Honors Student Association (HSA) my freshman year, where we canoed down the New River and collected over 80 bags full of trash from the water. My sophomore year I had the opportunity to go to Washington D.C. with the School of Education and then to Williamsburg, Virginia with for the HSA’s annual retreat. This year I am going to San Francisco, California with student activities – I’ve never been on a plane or visited the West Coast – but I am so excited to travel somewhere I never imagined visiting. Even though I am a junior, there are still some new things I would like to try on campus! I am looking forward to joining a small group in women’s ministries on campus and possibly going on a mission trip through Christian Life and Services. Stepping out of my comfort zone and living fearless, but wisely, this year is my goal.
If you’re looking at Gardner-Webb for the first time or if you’re a current student, my advice is to step out of your comfort zone. One day, I was a freshman, then I blinked and now I’m starting my third year in college as a junior. I have learned that calling my mom every day is great, praying over every day is so fulfilling, and thanking God for all the amazing blessings in my life every day is just as important as doing your homework. Don’t take higher education here at The Webb for granted and don’t take the people you love for granted. Thank all of your loved ones who helped you get here and who are getting you through this crazy roller coaster experience. There is nothing like living and growing at Gardner-Webb University!
Taylor Hildebrand, ’20, future math teacher, lover of hammocking, sunsets, new friends, and new experiences.