In just a few short weeks, Elon’s Class of 2013 will be leaving the “Elon bubble” and venturing out into the real world. Over the past few years, they have taken classes, led organizations, traveled the world and grown into the people they are today.
Plans for the future
From the East Coast to the West, Elon students will be spread out all over the country, pursuing their dreams. Lyndsay Burch is traveling all the way to California in the fall to be a directorial intern with the B Street Theater.
“I always knew that I wanted to work in theater,” Burch said, “but Elon helped me figure out the environment I want to work in and the people I want to surround myself with. College really helps you to shape your life as your own.”
On the opposite side of the country, Samantha Siberini will be traveling to New York with the Elon Bridges program.
“There’s going to be about eight of us living together, networking, and hopefully at the end of the summer, we’ll all find jobs,” Siberini said. “I’d really love to work making documentaries or in nonfiction television.”
Heading to Texas is Shannon Diehl, an exercise science major who will be attending physician assistant school at Baylor College.
“Through my experiences at Elon, I’ve been able to do international service work, and I know that’s something I want to incorporate into my future,” Diehl said. “The support here has really made a difference for me.”
Abbey Keifer, an international studies and political science double major, and political science major Darien Flowers both have plans to move to Washington, D.C. after graduation.
“I’m hopefully going to be working for a government contractor,” Keifer said.
Flowers says he is excited to have the opportunity to pursue politics professionally.
“It’s always been a passion of mine, and Elon has opened my eyes to the opportunities I could have,” Flowers said.
Involvement at Elon
From study abroad programs to music, and from church groups to student government, it’s no secret that Elon students are involved in practically everything.
Leading the student body was Flowers, who served as president of the Student Government Association this year.
“Being elected by my peers is a rare privilege,” Flowers said. “It’s difficult sometimes trying to get 5,000 18 to 21-year-olds to do anything, and having them instill enough trust in you to be their leader and representative is very humbling.”
Siberini is the president of EFFECT: Elon Feminists For Equality, Change, and Transformation.
“The club wasn’t going to exist if nobody stepped up, so my roommate and I worked to make people care about it,” Siberini said. “I am confident that it will continue long after we graduate.”
Keifer has focused much of her time traveling abroad. She spent a winter term class touring the European Union, a semester in Florence, Italy, and most recently, a semester in Estonia at an internship.
“My internship was the greatest thing,” Keifer said. “I was over there, representing Elon on the Russian border. It was a big deal for me.”
As for possible regrets, Burch claims the one thing she wishes she had done is get more involved outside of theatre.
“It’s great because all of your energy is on your passion, but the time constraints really limit you,” she said.
Diehl similarly wishes she had more time to do everything she wanted to while at Elon.
“I wish I could have studied abroad a whole semester," she said. "There’s so much to do, but never enough time.”
Advice to underclassmen
After spending four years here, the class of 2013 has many words of wisdom to impart to the younger generation.
“Go to all the cultural events,” Siberini said. “Because all that great stuff won’t be free much longer. I’ve learned so much just going to events and broadening my horizons.”
Diehl’s advice is to take advantage of Elon’s emphasis on leadership.
“Elon has a way of forcing [students] to be leaders,” she said. “It’s fostered in you, and that’s a good thing, embrace it.”
Study abroad was Keifer’s advice.
“Studying abroad opened my eyes to the real world, rather than the Southern culture I was raised in," she said. "I learned that there are more important things than sweet tea.”
“Develop your brand,” Flowers recommended. “When you graduate, everyone is smart, involved and went to a good school. You need an X-factor, so find your brand and own it.”
Burch suggests being open to any situation.
“Elon isn’t perfect," Burch said, "But that’s part of a learning experience and if you judge things too fast, you won’t get everything that Elon has to offer. Don’t pass up any opportunities that come your way.”