My college visit day finally arrived and I couldn’t have been more excited. College is right around the corner and it is very challenging to choose which school is right for me. The University of North Alabama is two hours away from my current home in Helena, AL, but to my mother it feels like an eternity away. Out of all the schools in Alabama, UNA is the oldest; tracing roots to 1830. Initially, when I thought of college I thought that I would attend a community college, but with an abundance of research the University of North Alabama seemed very captivating and I had to go visit. The drive to Florence, AL didn’t take as long as I initially thought, and as soon as my mother and I arrived to the beautiful city of Florence I fell in love. We parked at Coby Hall which is where the tour began. Our guide Meredith was phenomenal, having her as my guide, and just being in the Florence aroma inspired me to get scholarship money and work harder in school so that I can be back at the campus as soon as possible. One of the most intriguing things on the tour that I saw was the lions that are on campus; Leo III and Una were very lazy but they were extremely fascinating.
The University of North Alabama has rich history in their soil and a lot of the students claim that the university is haunted and see apparitions on occasion. The school was originally the LaGrange College in 1830, but moved to the land it is on now in 1872. The university is the first state-chartered college in Alabama. The math building was a former civil war hospital and the stair spindles were flipped upside down by the slaves who were angry with their master. The institution was one of the first coeducational schools in the nation, and also became the first state-supported teachers college in the south. UNA is one of the most “picture-perfect” college campuses in Alabama. The oldest building on the campus, Wesleyan Hall, is where the quote “War is Hell” was stated by the Civil War General William Tecumseh.
The 130 acres are extremely close to the Tennessee River; one of the four cities is known as the Shoals. This community is filled with art, culture, and entertainment. The Shoals has a population of 137,000, and is between Birmingham, Alabama and Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee. Florence, Alabama is gorgeous and has lots of culture, the surrounding buildings in the Florence area are older looking but they give the city the character they need to draw visitors in.
Walking onto the campus that I have never visited, I oddly felt at home, and I knew I could call the University of North Alabama my home for the next four years. Driving through Florence to get to the campus felt like an entry way to where I belong; on the tour I knew in my heart of hearts that the University of North Alabama was my school, and that the students were my people. The campus was small and quaint and just felt like it was a school made for me, like a dress that was altered to perfection; I felt as though I found my future home in only a two hour drive. My tour guide Meredith shared opportunities to get involved at UNA includes: Sororities and Fraternities, a variation of sports, and countless clubs and organizations. At many schools in the south, sororities and fraternities are very competitive and I personally didn’t want Greek life to be my main focus in school; however, at the University of North Alabama the percentage for Greek life is only 11% and is only eighty-dollars a month which makes it affordable and more exciting for me. While in college I would love to have a job, and the university has a lot of opportunities for both on and off campus; there is the Regency Square Mall that is only thirteen minutes away from the university, and many shops and boutiques in the area! I am thrilled to attend the university next fall, and even more excited for my future to begin at such a phenomenal school.
If you would like to know more about the University of North Alabama, visit the university’s website at http://www.una.edu/ or schedule a campus tour with the Office of Admissions. The university has many opportunities for students and has lots of historical culture deep in the soil. So like the slogan for their summer registration SOAR program says, come and be a part of the “History in the Making” –Roar Lions!