Dear Incoming Students of Fall Semester 2012, Class of 2016,
It was great hearing from all of you and talking to you all this summer. Your questions and concerns show that all of you care. This was a great and active facebook group (way better than mine.) You all show that you care for one another and you are looking out for each other and you haven’t even met yet (mostly). You are all carrying on the small knit community that Unity offers. From NOVA trips to Residence Halls and all the way to activities, music and club interests, you all show a deep interest for what is going on. It is also great to see that you guys are bringing a larger diversity to Unity. There are more of us city-kids, and more talents and other things to offer coming into Unity. But this letter is to inform you of things I learned at Unity that I wish I was told before coming to Unity.
If I were to give advice to any Unity student, this is what it would be: Unity is what you make it. If you want to sit and watch Netflix all day while doing homework and classwork, by all means; go ahead. Let me warn you: you are not using all of the potential your Unity Experience offers. Unity has so much more to offer. Go on the OAC monthly trips. Check out musicians playing at the coffee house and the UCCPA. Join clubs. Try new things. Use all of what we offer. Become part of the Student Government Association (SGA) and state your opinions. At Unity, everything is in grasp and as long as YOU make the extra effort to do so. We will not spoon feed you and hold your hand along the way. You are now in college. Get out and be active. If you do not like the bands playing at the Coffee House nights, make suggestions of genres, or even go the extra effort and talk to Rebecca Neville to get involved in choosing some of the bands that swing by. If you feel like we are lacking something here at the college, don’t complain about it. Make it happen. There are students and faculty around campus that are more than willing to help and accommodate at any means possible. We have the facilities to get you internships and to let you study abroad. All you have to do is talk to Nicole Collins to know how to get started. If you do not care for your education, than no one else is going to either.
Also, get to know everyone around you. Keep in mind that the best part about Unity (in my opinion) may also be the worst. We are VERY small. Everyone on campus, including the faculty and staff, will get to know you on a personal level to some extent. You are not just a number here like at larger institutions. Make sure you keep that into consideration as you make decisions. Because we are small you get to make connections and contacts. This opens opportunities for jobs, a way to catch a ride, volunteer work, activities and many more positions. And teachers treat you with respect and will go out of their way to make sure you are getting a grasp of what they are teaching in class. Yet, word does spread fast around the campus due to the size. I can guarantee by the end of one year if you don’t know someone by name, you’ll get to know their face and vice versa.
As far as stereotypes go here at Unity, there definitely are those. There is that whole “hugger vs. hunter” thing. Meaning that there are tree huggers and there are hunters on campus. What is important to realize and remember that we are all here for the same reason; the environment. When I was in the city I thought that going green was recycling and buying reusable water bottles and eating a healthier diet with less meat. And yes, this does help a GREAT amount as far as day to day living goes. But there is much more to it. The “hunters” of the campus live off the land. They appreciate the animals and try population control to keep them around. That is their food. They farm and hunt to put food on the table. That is respectable. They are not slaughtering animals because they like to kill. It is a much deeper connection to nature to that than I will ever know. And as far as “tree-huggers” go, your respect for sustainability and the whole “going green” trend is great for urban environments and is a great start. But what is important to see here is that we all care for the environment in our own ways. Sure, they will differ, but we are all here to solve preserve and conserve nature and be one with our eco-systems and the environment. Even though we may not all agree politically, we are all hanging in the Student Center together and eating at the same tables in Wyman’s Commons.
And PLEASE, be active in the small community. There’s tons of things to do on campus (and off campus for that matter) you just have to look and get involved. Make what you want to happen, actually happen. I know this group is capable of doing big things by how much I have interacted with you all through facebook. I can’t wait to put a personality to all of the pictures, questions and comments. If you see me on campus, please stop me and say hello! I would love to have a conversation with all of you. If you need information on how to get clubs started, work study, activities to do on campus, places to go off campus, or cool scenery or locations around the area let me know. I have lived here for the summer and have been around for a full school year so I have looked into all of this myself. And if I do not know, I know someone who will. Trust me when I say just because we are in a rural location it doesn’t mean there isn’t stuff to do. Always ask yourself, “What is holding me back?”
If you have any questions about the college or student life (and I mean and stress ANYTHING) please email me at JDavidson11@unity.edu. I’ll be more than happy to answer everything truthfully. I grew a huge love for Unity and I hope that all of you can as well.
It was a pleasure getting to talk to you all and meet you on tours!! Be safe. Have fun. Enjoy the rest of your summer and NOVA if you have not already gone.
Peace and Love,
Jeffery Bourne Davidson