As the summer draws to a close, Heidelberg University’s incoming freshman students are finishing summer jobs, packing for college and envisioning what their next four years on campus will hold.
Sam Conde is one of those students, but he has a slightly different story. He has to buy a plane ticket, search for snow boots and has never visited Heidelberg.
Living in Winter Park, Fla., Sam began his college search with two criteria for his school: it had to be outside of Florida and it had to be affiliated with the United Church of Christ. Sam’s involvement with the UCC led him to want a college experience that shared his values. When Heidelberg’s Admission Office invited Sam to an event in Orlando, he couldn’t pass it up.
“I ended up eating dinner with two alumni and Macaela [Holmes], my admission counselor. I received such a refreshing welcome that I had to take a closer look,” he said.
With an 18 hour drive separating him from Heidelberg, Sam’s closer look wasn’t a trip to campus, but phone calls to faculty and staff. “I talked to Professor Marc O’Reilly and Chaplain Paul Stark. Everyone embraced me and I knew it would be a great fit.”
Making the decision to attend a college you have never seen is one that many students are unable to make. “It was hard,” Sam said. “But I’m ready for this, I want to do this. It’s something I’ve never experienced before.”
Sam is ready and excited to begin that experience. He plans to get involved with Heidelberg’s Concert Choir, Berg Allies, Model UN and Berg Events Council. “I’m looking forward to being involved on campus and meeting a lot of new people. I’m also ready to take more specialized classes. It will be great to have freedom to explore my interests.” Sam plans on majoring in either education or political science.
While Sam is all set to start his college career, some things will have to wait. “It’s hard to find a good winter coat in Florida. I’ll get one in Ohio,” he said.