Big as in big school. Big campus. Big classes. “I always dreamed I’d be in the student section watching Division I football games surrounded by a lot of other students,” says Jacob. “Everything was always big.”
Jacob smiles thinking about those big dreams because these days he’s a junior at Guilford College, a place where class sizes are measured in the teens, not hundreds. A place where, as Jacob says, “you can see all of the campus no matter where you’re standing.”
And that’s fine with Jacob, who instantly fell for Guilford’s small-school charm and intimate, nurturing community.
About that community: Jacob grew up in Dobson, N.C., a town of 1,400 people where fields of tobacco and corn recede into the horizon; where roads are colored by red-bricked churches and wrap-around porches and neighbors who know each other.
Community – back home and here at Guilford – is important to Jacob.
Jacob spent his last two years of high school attending Surry Community College. When spring rolled around he had two graduations – one from Surry Central High School, and another from the community college where he earned an associate’s degree.
Jacob wants to attend seminary after earning his degree in Psychology from Guilford. He says the College’s tight-knit community convinced him bigger isn’t always better. He says he’s always possessed an innate curiosity to how people interact with one another.
“Everybody needs community,” he says. “That’s not to say you can’t go off and be by yourself from time to time, but eventually we need each other and Guilford allows us to come together and support each other.”
Jacob didn’t waste time getting to know and add to Guilford’s community. He’s an Ethical Leadership Fellowship Scholar and is also part of the Guilford Christian Ministry and Office of Student Leadership & Engagement. He loves how Guilford’s community – students and faculty – are so supportive.
“I think a lot of people go to college to learn what it is they want to do,” says Jacob. “People come to Guilford to learn who they want to be.
“I really think that community allows anybody to become a better version of themselves. I haven’t been (at Guilford) long, but I’ve been here long enough to see that’s what Guilford’s community does. It’s doing that for me.”