Students at Harding find their own belonging in different places and in different capacities on campus. For senior Taylor Mayfield, an English major with teaching licensure, the Sigma Nu Epsilon and Delta Gamma Rho social clubs and English department provided his sense of belonging.
“I gravitated to Sigma Nu Epsilon, and I liked the size and the people within the club. I love all the guys in SNE, and they have become my home,” Mayfield said. “The girls of DGR mean so much to me, and I am so thankful for their encouragement. The English department is a place where I can nerd out about literature, and the faculty is great.”
Going from living at home to living on a college campus is an adjustment for every student, but for Mayfield, it started a bit differently than it does for most.
“When I first got here I was scared, and I did not have a roommate for the first two weeks, so it was very easy for me to hide in my room,” Mayfield said. “I got to know the guys on my hall and started looking at social clubs to help me get out of my comfort zone.”
When Mayfield was looking into colleges, the Louisiana native was encouraged by his youth minister and friends from Camp Ch-Yo-Ca to consider Harding. The University’s first impression made a big splash.
“[My youth minister] brought me to Spring Sing, and I fell in love,” he said. “Someone had soaped the fountains on campus, even the one in front of the Benson, and a friend who was with us on the trip tackled me into the fountain. So we spent the whole Spring Sing soaked with soap and bubbles.”
Despite being unsure about what the future holds, Mayfield longs to have his own high school English classroom, and he is currently teaching high school English as part of his student teaching requirement. Mayfield encourages all students to get plugged into a group that fits their interests and plans for the future.
“Whether it be in a club, the student association, your department’s organization, or simply your friend group, surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed in accomplishing your dreams and grow more in your relationships,” he said. “Don’t be afraid to dive in, and don’t fall into the pressure to be anyone but yourself.”