For junior graphic design major Abby Radcliffe, it’s the people that matter. From the first time she set foot on campus for a soccer camp, she was impressed by OC’s welcoming atmosphere. Soccer may have originally driven Abby to campus, but it’s the people who made her stay.
“I was really surprised by how nice people are here,” she said. “When I visited, they treated me like I was already a student.”
Her experience in the tight-knit community continued into her college experience.
“I love Olivet because of the people,” Abby said. “People are very friendly, so it only takes one time to meet them to become friends. If you meet someone the day before, they’ll likely stop and say hello in the hallway the next day.”
Pushing the Limits
One of Abby’s fondest memories involves her peers’ support.
“My sophomore year, we beat Adrian at home and placed second in the conference,” she said. “It was the last five minutes of the game, and the football team had just finished their practice. They all came over to support us. There were 150 of them filling up the stands and cheering us on. It really pumped us up and made us feel appreciated.”
Besides her relationships with her peers, she has also developed positive connections with her professors.
“In the classroom, professors tell you you can push yourself more than you already are,” Abby said. “Even if you don’t think you can do it, you can. You need someone pushing you to the next level. It’s nice having someone push you and tell you you can get better and help you with areas you can improve on.”
Abby’s personally experienced that motivation through her weight training and painting classes. With the support of her professors and coaches, she’s learned to discover as she goes and make her own mistakes.
Designing the Future
Besides her role as student-athlete, Abby participates in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, works for intramural sports and the library, and designs both the Garfield Lake Review and the Echo website.
There’s no question that Abby is incredibly involved at OC, but that wasn’t always the case.
“My freshman year, I wasn’t that involved on campus,” she said. “But college is a lot more fun when you meet new people and join in new activities. You shouldn’t be afraid to meet new people or get involved.”
Besides long-lasting relationships, one of the top lessons Abby will take from her time at Olivet is the valuable skill of taking criticism well.
“We do a lot of critique in every class,” she said. “We learn what’s not working for the piece, what’s wrong with it in general as well as what’s working well. I’ve learned to take criticism without taking it personally. That’s important in my field.”
After graduation, Abby hopes to work as an in-house designer at a design group or company. She also dreams of digging into freelance work. And for Abby, it always comes back to the people.
“I’d love to freelance for small companies or nonprofits,” she said. “I’d like to work with anybody that’s helping the world become a better place; I want to help them improve what they’re doing.”
To learn more about The University of Olivet, contact the Office of Admissions at 800.456.7189 or firstname.lastname@example.org.