Being a part of Honors has provided me with a number of opportunities. I’ve gained leadership skills, I’ve made friends that will last a lifetime, I’ve been able to become civically involved, and much more. I must say though, one of the most enjoyable experiences Honors has provided for me is the opportunity to travel across the nation to conferences. Each conference has a different vibe and normally the groups of people that we meet are each unique.
What makes conferences so special though, is the opportunity to present on a topic you are passionate about. Normally, doing a presentation in class is not fun, most times students dread it, but doing a presentation about something you are interested helps to build up your excitement and excitement of those attending. My presentation at this conference, focused on the community garden at UWF and the ways that it has involved students in service learning and the impact that can be seen from that involvement. I love the garden, so talking about it and presenting it to people came natural to me. I wanted to show everyone the passion I had for the garden so that they could turn that passion into their own and start similar gardens on their campus. People were intrigued by the work that we were doing in the garden, they wanted to understand more and they wanted to fully understand the ways we were implementing such a successful service learning program. After my presentation ended, I talked to a number of people about why the garden is so important to me on a personal level. Having the opportunity to have intelligent meaningful conversations with people about issues that matter is one of the greatest parts of going to conferences. When you put a group of Honors students and staff in a room and give them a topic that can be debated or discussed with disagreements, the conversation blossoms! Everyone is eager to get their thoughts in but they are also willing to wait and see what others have to say. These are skills that I have been able to bring back to UWF with me. I can sit in a classroom now with my peers and not be afraid to express my feelings, but I have also learned the proper way to do so.
Conferences are not just all about going to presentations, seeing posters, and having intelligent conversations though. Conferences are about having FUN and bonding with people from your school and other schools! This year’s SRHC did an excellent job of getting students talking, whether it was the awkward but enjoyable salsa dancing, the jungle gym in the children museum with a DJ at the top, or the state breakfast that encouraged you to sit with other institutions from your state, you were always given the opportunity to interact with other students across the region! My goal for this conference was to make the experiences from this conference be the best yet and I think that is just what I did!
By: Jini Curry, Senior
Honors Council President