Know the Age but not the Story

Every student thinks they have a plan for the years ahead. They never realize the degree of change that can happen during the climb towards graduation. Every person, with their chosen path, propels forward in their own unique way.

The College is a very diverse place. With thousands of students enrolled, and differences galore, freshman Berlin Strange says it’s “just the randomness of people that come.” The path that a student takes in their college career makes them unique.

Every new academic year builds character and allows students to find their place in the world. A major is more than a major because it molds who students will become. It is best to understand the evolvement of a student through their individual voices.

Photo by Missy McConnell

Max Russell & Berlin Strange – Freshman

Max Russell and Berlin Strange are two college freshmen who are currently finding their path in college. Freshman year is the year of the ultimate struggle. It is a time when a person is identifying who they are and what they want to be. Luckily, that path is becoming more clear for the two friends.

Russell came into college thinking that he would find himself in the field of Communications. He took an introductory course in communications and realized what a lot of freshmen do – the field is not what they expected. It was not until he took hospitality and tourism that he saw a career he would enjoy. The class interested him because of what he calls “the what and how” of the industry. Russell hopes to fulfill that love of hospitality and tourism through a study abroad program. He says he hopes to “get out of his comfort zone,” deriving from an experience he had on a family trip to Japan.

Strange is a seventh generation Charlestonian with a big family name. It seemed impossible for Strange to go anywhere else. He said that “nothing could beat Charleston.” He comes from the family business, Berlin’s Clothing Store, dating back to the 1800’s. There is the more recent family business, Berlin’s Restaurant Supply, that helped build the College’s City Bistro and Liberty. Strange will be following in his family’s footsteps by majoring in business administration. It is a big name to live up to but Strange will be taking on that battle willingly.

Photo by Missy McConnell

Jonathan Bloom  – Sophomore

Jonathan Bloom is a 28-year-old sophmore who has been married for eight years and is in the military. Bloom created a different path for himself when he graduated from high school. He had not taken life too seriously and did not know what he wanted to do. He decided to wait until college and do something productive in the meantime.

Bloom joined The U.S. Airforce and signed an eight-year contract. He classified it as a “means to an end.” It was an experience that made him grow up and value the opportunities education could give. He was on active duty for four years and entered the education system for the next four years – all while being married. He got married to his wife at the age of 20 and admits that the trials of military and education have been tough.

Bloom and his wife traveled around the country to places like Alaska, Colorado and South Carolina. Bloom’s wife had to attend five different universities during her academic career. Although tough, Bloom describes the experience as a good learning lesson for when he began college.

He spent his freshman year at Trident Technical College. Bloom had always planned to transfer and get a four-year degree. That is why he decided to transfer to the College of Charleston for his sophomore year. The College is more expensive than Trident, but Bloom wanted to make sure he got the best investment in his education.

Originally, Bloom believed that business was what he wanted to do. He stated that he went through phases of “trying to find [his] niche, experiment with things, and find [his] passions” and did so when a very private life-altering moment happened. It made him slow down and realize the important things in life.

The realization came with the need to find a purpose. Bloom sought out a major that would allow him to find that purpose in life and help others find it as well – secondary education. It became about realizing his potential worth and impact on the upcoming generations. Bloom is looking to become a teacher in sociology with the hopes to guide and give purpose like he has been given.

Photo by Missy McConnell

Grace Timmons – Junior

Grace Timmons was spotted for her politically and emotionally provoking jacket, spelling “Stop Killing Us.” Timmons stated that it is her way to make a daily statement on the Black Lives Matter movement – her daily reminder that there is a constant and vigilant fight against the hate and crime against people of color in America. She has chosen not wear her heart on her sleeve, but on her back.

Timmons’ political and emotional stance does not stop there. She has found a way to carry it

through her college career through her major and future plans.

She entered freshman and sophomore year with the need to prove that she could achieve in college. It was a challenge of working towards her degree with exceptional, not just decent grades – a battle that turned out to be very possible for Timmons. A testament that Timmons claimed was that, “hard work does pay off.”

She found her passion in anthropology and plans on pursuing a minor in African American Studies. Timmons says that the major “has opened my eyes to the importance of cross-cultural studies.” She felt that she could see a whole new world because of what she studied – it is why she hopes to join the Peace Corps after obtaining her degree to help aid women and children overseas and domestically.

The Peace Corps would allow her to take her studies and transform it into an immersive career. She hopes to see new worlds, cultures and people through the lens of humanitarian aid.

It would be a life of traveling and fun, but more than that Timmons hopes to “save the world” a little bit at a time.

Photo by Missy McConnell

Marina Colket – Senior

The Simons Center for Art is the perfect place to find Marina Colket. Colket is a senior working her way into the field of art and photography.

The road to graduation has been a long one for Colket. She has transferred a total of four times in her college career.

Originally, she attended the Santa Barbara Art Institute because she loved California. The freshman homesickness kicked in and she came back home to Charleston but attended another art institute.

Eventually, she landed at the College of Charleston for its art and photography programs. She realized the College equalled in prestige to the art institutes she had previously attended.

Before her final destination, it was a time of total confusion for Colket – a feeling that many students experience during their college career. She said she felt lost and did not know where life was taking her. She needed time to just breathe and take time away from the stress of school.

A year and a half ago Colket said she decided to “drop out of college and travel the world in an RV with [her] boyfriend.” The break entailed a two month road trip through the West Coast. It was an eye-opening and soul-awakening experience for the creativity of Colket.

The block was gone and she was ready to focus on her art and photography.

Colket said the experience of being lost and confused has helped her become “independent in [her] creativity and learning.” Colket is graduating in December and hopes to intern at Halsey.

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Judith Arendall, a Nashville native, is a Junior english major with a Writing, Rhetoric and Publication emphasis. In Judith’s free time, aside from writing for CisternYard, she interns at Blue Bicycle Books.

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