Each spring during college there was an event called “White Glove” which meant that everyone had to clean their dorm rooms from top to bottom and be ready for inspection. It was a big event for the radio station which had special themed broadcasts for the students to listen to while they cleaned. The WBJU staff got to have a party afterwards, usually consisting of pizza, cake, ice cream and a Disney movie. We were such a privileged department.

One year the theme was the 75th anniversary of the college and the WBJU staff gathered outside the Gustafson fine arts building and passed out cake. It was glorious! I am a massive cake fan. That night my best friend — who was also a massive cake fan — and I had a cake eating contest. If I recall correctly, I won by eating ten pieces of cake, ten (smallish) pieces of course.

My best friend at Bob Jones was a cinema student from Cornwall, England. Her family moved over to Greenville, S.C. for a few years while she and her sisters were attending the university. We were both in the same society, the Ambassadors, and we shared a love of film and cake eating. She is the one who taught me to always ask for the corner piece on a sheet cake because that is the piece with the most icing.

College life was good, but it was not all rainbows and roses; I had some difficulties: personality clashes with certain roommates, some illness, weight gain and homesickness that grew worse each year. Ultimately, I transferred home to Clarion University for a variety of reasons, one of the chief ones being that at Bob Jones University there was more focus on getting your M.R.S. than on preparing for a theatrical and film career. My life was heading in a different direction.

For a time, I seriously considered applying to Grove City College (my dream college), but I chickened out again and decided that Clarion University would be more convenient.

I was very glad that Clarion University had an acting major. I was a bit nervous about what the programs would be like after the strict discipline I was used to, but it was not much of a problem. I also enjoyed the fact that there was more freedom and flexibility at Clarion, even to the point of only showing up for the 8 a.m. Science class on test day.

The theater program was excellent. Even new students were given the opportunity to jump right into major productions. I felt like I was a part of the theater activity at once, and that is just what I wanted. The work was hard, but the experience and training was great!

I did not participate in as much student life as I had at BJU, but that was cool. I had had enough of dorm life. I enjoyed having the freedom to act in community theater, work at Burger King, go out shopping on my own and just be more free, but still close to home. Both schools were a good fit for me at those times of my life.

I graduated from Clarion University in December of 2005 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater, Concentration: Acting.

My college career is just like the song that never ends. In 2007 I began to think I should have a career back up, so I took a Paralegal course from the Stratford Career Institute. It failed to interest me more than the arts. I tried a sewing course, but didn’t see a great future there.

In 2009 I began attending the DuBois Business College, because they were offering a movie making course by John Russo and Russ Streiner, who were two of the original creators of “Night of the Living Dead.” I met them while I was working at Burger King after one of my co-workers who attended the business college pointed them out to me.

The John Russo Movie Making program was just what I needed to jump start my computer video editing and hone my production skills. I was the only girl in my class, but I was cool with that, most of the time. It is always nice when life brings opportunities to you.

We made commercials, music videos, documentaries and short films. The program was remarkably thorough. Sadly, the DuBois Business College is no longer with us.

I tried six months online with Asbury Theological Seminary, but I quickly developed significant doctrinal and theological disagreements with faculty and fellow students. It was just not for me.

A couple years later I was on to yet another college. Although a bit wary of trying an online program, the low cost and good reputation led me to sign up for a course with Penn Foster College. In my attempt to learn marketable skills that were not artistic, I took a legal secretary course, to complement a paralegal course I took years before.

Penn Foster was much better than the other distance learning company I had studied with previously. The program was impressive and they used many different learning and test techniques. It was not too easy. I was surprised that they had student life as an online school. There were online clubs you could join and the online library. They tried to replicate the traditional college experience as much as they could.

Online education is peaceful and you work at your own pace, so it is in stark contrast to the activities and the social whirl of traditional college life. I can see why young people enjoy the socialization and the activities, but as you grow older, you prefer a quiet learning environment.

I have taken tons of classes and courses so far in my life, and have been running the risk of becoming a professional student. Student life is fairly easy and you can put the problems of the future on hold. Sometimes, it is better just to jump in and learn by experience than to constantly take courses. Don’t let education become a companion of procrastination.

Taking online courses could become a good hobby, if you have extra time and money. We are always learning throughout our lives, so why not rack up a list of diplomas, certificates and degrees in things as diverse as wedding planner, diesel mechanic and wildlife conservation? The world is full of so many things. We will miss out if we do not have an adventurous spirit.

As we come to the end of this topic, the grand old college hymns begin to swell in the background of our minds, and we perhaps get a little misty about the college days gone by. It may be that the era of the good old college campuses is drawing to a close as more and more learning moves online. The goal of higher education is to prepare us for the future and we must embrace our technological achievements even though it may mean leaving the ivy covered halls of learning. Eras may come and go, but the memories live on.

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