This is a student blog primarily, but sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that alumni offer a student perspective as well — one that’s richer and deeper thanks to their continuing life experience.
A 1977 alumna, Mrs. Harris Cheatham Murray, wrote a wonderful piece for her local paper about the value of studying in a quiet academic village like Due West. If you’re wondering whether it’s “worth it” to forego the hustle and bustle of a busy city university, Mrs. Murray writes,
I was curious about this place that seemed to be a sanctuary, a respite from the busyness of life. Each time we drove through, I felt a sort of awe that such a place could still exist and be viable. Small towns die in the shadow of progress, but Due West did not. It thrived in a quiet way.
The heart of Due West is Erskine College, and due to my familiarity with the town, it was the only other college to which I had applied. It had been my backup plan. And it was only 120 miles away from home. Accepted there, I made the decision to go.
For the next four years, I missed out on the busy life of a major university. Instead I learned the value of a slower pace. For the next four years, I missed out on big city life, with bustling traffic, crowds of people and constant activity. Instead I learned the value of Saturday afternoon bicycle rides through the countryside, the joy of a smaller circle of friends and the creative energy that arises from a mind uncluttered with the trappings of modern life.
For the next four years, I learned the value of quiet places. It was a lesson for a lifetime.
Read the full column: The Value of Quiet Places, from the Orangeburg Times & Democrat