Christina Ring-Hillard '05
Connecticut, Kansas, Massachusetts - Central and West, New Jersey - North, New York - upstate, and Oklahoma
As a kid, I grew up in a few different states (NJ, NY, TX and IN). Each state had amazing things to offer so I wanted to continue traveling. So, I followed my heart to my next destination... Saint Petersburg, Florida. From the moment that I arrived on the Eckerd College campus I felt like I had found the college of my dreams.
Eeny Meeny Miny Mo
It's hard to choose a college when you are first beginning the search process. There are so many factors to consider. For example: large or small school, private or public, in-state or out-of-state, etc. No matter what anyone else tells you, the decision is ultimately yours to make. Once you believe you found a few good schools, I would strongly suggest a campus visit to each. The visit gives you and your parents a chance to see what the campus culture is like, meet other students (great for getting more insight) and the opportunities to discover what each campus can provide. The campus visit is one of the main reasons that I chose Eckerd College as my school of choice. I attended a small high school in upstate New York with a senior class of 80 students. It was my dream to graduate with a Marine Science degree. I also knew that I wanted to do that by attending a college that was near warm water and fostered a tight knit community. After my visit, I was confident that Eckerd fit the bill. Two years after graduation, I enrolled in my master's program at the University of South Florida (USF- Tampa) for a degree in Education (College Student Affairs). My experience at USF was wonderful but it reinforced that I had indeed chosen my undergraduate institution wisely. The fit and the school are your decision so go explore and find your niche.
Aside from my dream of graduating with a marine science degree, I was hoping to travel abroad to Australia. I love new adventures! Fortunately, I knew about the great winter term opportunities Eckerd had to offer. The winter term is a three to four week term that students can use to travel abroad while getting class credit. In my sophomore year at Eckerd, I signed up to travel with 20 other students to Australia's east coast. Our trip was designed to study the natural environment of Australia. We traveled to Sydney, learned how to surf, met aborigines, saw the Blue Mountains and even had time to visit a private island in the Great Barrier Reef. The three weeks that I stayed in Australia have left me with a lifetime of wonderful memories and a new aspiration to continue traveling abroad. No matter which school you choose, I would recommend looking into the International programs and participating in your own adventure.
I enjoy trying new and unique foods, SCUBA diving (or any other outdoor adventure), painting, sewing (counted cross-stitch), reading, going to amusement parks (roller coasters are awesome!), watching movies and enjoying life with my friends and family.
Top 3 Tips:
- Get involved
- Try an internship before you graduate
- Immerse yourself inside and outside of the classroom