Students in Action

Matt Thompson

"Eckerd is where I discovered myself."

Matt Thompson
Major: Communication
Why did you decide to attend EC?

Eckerd was a perfect match for me from the beginning. I went to a very big high school and I knew that I didn't want to go to a big state school type university. With Eckerd I got a chance to not only escape the frozen tundra of Minnesota, but also I had the opportunity to play for a Division II soccer team, study abroad in Europe, and enjoy close relationships with all of my professors.

Do you have a "that's so Eckerd" moment? What is it?

While I was traveling along the Cote d'Azur in the south of France, I was in need of recommendations for what to do. Well my winter term professor and freshman year mentor, Olivier Debure, is actually from Nice, France where I was planning on traveling that afternoon. As a long-shot idea, I emailed professor asking for recommendations on what to do, where to eat, etc. Sure enough while I was on the train to Nice, professor Debure responded with tons of things for me to do in his hometown. Because of that, I had a great time in Nice and it remains my favorite city on the southern French coast. That type of availability of professors and willingness to respond to students (even those across the world) is what makes Eckerd special.

What are some traits or characteristics you find in most Eckerd students?

What I love about the students at Eckerd is the all around openness to other students and genuine personalities. Eckerd students seem to always be willing to involve the other people around them, whether they are already friends or complete strangers. You feel comfortable in and outside of class interacting with the other students, and Eckerd does a great job of encouraging that interaction.

Where is the best place to hang out on campus?

The best place to hang out on campus is Kappa field. On any given day you'll see dozens of people relaxing, playing Frisbee or soccer, and often reading for class (why be in the library if you can read and tan at the same time). With south beach, the outdoor pavilion, and sand volleyball courts all a stones throw away, I can't imagine a better place to be.

The first year of college can have a profound affect on the other 3 years; what was the defining moment of your Autumn Term experience and/or freshman year?

The summer before my freshman year I was one of the very first of my friends to leave for college. Eckerd has what they call autumn term, a one-month course specifically for freshmen in August, before the rest of the students get back on campus. While leaving my friends back home was difficult, making new ones was not. Eckerd has done a great job of bringing the new students together and acclimating them to college life all before the rest of the student body returns and the new, chaotic academic year begins in September.

What are some of your favorite things about Eckerd?

Some of my favorite things about Eckerd are the close relationships with professors, amazing study abroad opportunities, the camaraderie between students, and the overall positive atmosphere around campus.

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